Union Government on 18 March 2013 approved changes in a proposed legislation according to which accepting or giving bribe by foreign public officials is a criminal offence implicating imprisonment of up to seven years among others penal provisions.
The bill which was named The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, 2011 was amended officially with the approval by the Union Cabinet.
It is evident that Bribery by foreign nationals is not covered under any domestic anti-corruption laws at present. So, the legislation, if passed by Parliament, will be a separate law to deal with bribery by foreign public officials.
As per the proposed Bill, the government can attach, seize and confiscate property of offenders. In addition it also has a provision for extradition of an accused official.
The Bill, besides having a provision to punish both bribe taker and giver, also help empowering the government to enter into agreements with other countries or contracting states for enforcing this law and for exchange of investigative information.
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 25 March 2011 and referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee in the month of April 2011.
A report on the bill was given by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on 29 March 2012.
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