Corruption: Roots in Society an analytical study
What is corruption?
In general people understand the meaning of corruption as money or any thing (in kind) given to any person who is in power or can get work done and which is the duty of that person to do that work in his official duty only.
The definition of ‘corruption’ defined under the Prevention of Corruption Act in its Preamble and under Section 7 of the Act, it would clearly emerge that ‘corruption’ is acceptance or demand of illegal gratification for doing an official act. The demand/ receipt of fee while doing private practice by itself cannot be held to be an illegal gratification as the same obviously is the amount charged towards professional remuneration.
The various types of corruption in the society are as follow:
# Political corruption
# Police corruption
# Banking corruption
# Administrative corruption
# Hospital corruption
The first two type of corruption are done in detail as they are more related with the research article.
Political corruption is the abuse of public power, office, or resources by elected government officials for personal gain, e.g. by extortion, soliciting or offering bribes It can also take the form of office holders maintaining themselves in office by purchasing votes by enacting laws which use taxpayer money. Systemic corruption is the complete subversion of a political or economic system. Governmental corruption of judiciary is broadly known in many transitional and developing countries because the budget is almost completely controlled by the executive. The latter undermines the separation of powers, as it creates a critical financial dependence of the judiciary. The proper national wealth distribution including the government spending on the judiciary is subject of the constitutional economics. It is important to distinguish between the two methods of corruption of the judiciary: the government (through budget planning and various privileges), and the private.
“Police corruption is a specific form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, and/or career advancement for a police officer or officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest” . One common form of police corruption is soliciting and/or accepting bribes in exchange for not reporting organized drug or prostitution rings or other illegal activities. Another example is police officers flouting the police code of conduct in order to secure convictions of suspects — for example, through the use of falsified evidence. More rarely, police officers may deliberately and systematically participate in organized crime themselves. In most major cities, there are internal affairs sections to investigate suspected police corruption or misconduct. Similar entities include the British Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Society and corruption
As we have discussed that corruption is now a part of life of almost every individual. The negative consequencecs of corruption are well know to us , but not well realized. We can find corruption at each and every stage form the day when we get the independence for e.g. we can take scams:
1948 Jeep Purchase Rs. 80 Lakh
1956 Bhu Funds Rs. 50 lakh
1957 Mundhara scandal Rs. 1.2 crore
1960 Teja Loan Rs. 22 crore
1976 Kuo oil deal Rs. 2.2 crore
1987 HDW commissions Rs. 20 crore
1987 Bofors pay – off Rs. 65 crore
1990 Airbus scandal Rs. 2.2 crore (per week)
1992 Securities scam Rs. 5000 crore
1994 Sugar import Rs. 650 crore
1995 JMM Bribes Rs. 1.2 crore
1996 Fodder scam Rs. 950 crore
2001 Stock market scam Rs. 115000 crore
2003 stamp paper scam Rs. 30000 crore
2008 Ali khan tax default Rs. 50000 crore
2008 Satyam scam Rs. 10000 crore
By calculating such other cases total money which have been lost in such corruption is 20.23 trillion USD.
From this figure we can say that corruption is become part of day to day life and Kaka Hathrasi has written few line on it:
Dhanya tu rishwat rani, angina tere naam
Haq pani, baksheesh, bhent, rishwat, ghoos, inaam,
Naar, nazrana, pagdi,
Tere karan khuan maal ki income tagdi!!
Corruption in any system or society depends on three factors. The first is the set of individual’s sense of values, the second is the set of social values which are accepted by the society as a whole and third, the system of governance or administration.
The broad elements which determine the corruption in public life are:
1. Social roots of corruption and
2. The system of governance.
1. Social roots of corruption
There are various factors which we can take in social roots and which I would like to deal in one or two line:
Family :- The family play important role in any individuals life. When person is in power position he definitely want to give his benefit to his family by any of the way. For e.g. a son of judge will be not treated by traffic police officer in the same manner as other normal person when they are stopped by traffic police officer.
Caste :- Now a days caste play an important role for everyone. Sometime police allow some illegal act of any person because they both are fro the same caste or person is from dominating caste like bharvad or rabari
Power :- Power play an important role in Indian society. The person in power always dominates over other person in the society. When there is a misuse of the power, we can say it is demonstrated in a society. When power is misused it results in some kind of malpractice by any means. This malpractice is nothing but corruption.
School admission :- It is base level example of corruption in the society. When parents want their child to be kept in best educational institute they try each and every means to make it sure that the child get admission. For this purpose they give some kind of donation to school trust, some gift to some person, etc.
2. The system of governance.
The second element responsible for corruption in our society is system of governance. Our democracy is based on corruption because all political parties have to collect funds in cash, which is most of the time black money. In such condition we can say that government itself is a corrupt the who can we aspect from common people to be non – corrupt. The same way police officer is part of system of governance and they have to make arrangement for the guest of such politician and other VIP from his own pocket, so it is obvious that he will not spend it from his salary but he will spend it those money which is earn by bribe/ corruption.
When we see the way in which we are governed and behavior of many people in different organizations, we start thinking that whether in our nation everybody and everything has a price.
The fate of a nation depends on its people. India has more natural resources then small countries like Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore. But still those countries are more developed then India and the reason for this development is the governance and the people.
The people of the country play most important role in progress. If there is no integrity, helpfulness, love and cooperation then the development of the country also decrease or sometime we can use word like country has stop progressive. But sometime such country show very high level of development, but then it shows a great downfall of the nation. The example of this issue is Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea in 1997. Even World bank today has also realize that if a country is perceived to be corrupt it gets less foreign direct investment.
When I take the interview of 10 different persons who are victim or accuse on the issue of corruption they said that police department is one of the corrupt departments in our system of governance.
Victims of corruption:
One of them said that for lodging the FIR also person have to give bribe to the police. When there was a theft in his shop (gold smith shop) he went to the police station the first question asked by the police was that what was amount of gold on that day in his shop when he disclose the amount police asked for all the bills and after getting all the bills, police officer asked him to give 5000/- for the expenses.
The second person said that when he meets with accident in car and one of his friend died in the same accident. Then after police didn’t take any action against the truck driver and neither took any statement of the victim or any such other person and constable ask from that person that the whole accident is a fake one as he was not going to get any money from that person because victim himself was an advocate and then later on the father of the person who died on the spot of accident gave some money to complete his investigation.
The third person was witness in one of the murder case. He was having shop on a highway in Chotila. He was having a shop of swords and he sold one sword to the accuse and there is no license required to sell a sword for keeping at mataji’s temple. But the accuse killed a girl with that sword. When police started a investigation they came to that shopkeeper and asked him to identify the accuse and when he identify the accuse police asked him to give 20000/- or otherwise he will be in jail for helping the accuse and he gave money also to the police. Now that person is so much afraid that he changed his business also.
The fourth person whom I asked to say something on bribe which he gave to the police he said me that he is not interested in giving interview on this topic. He was the owner of a hotel and he said me that have some dinner and to talk on some other subject. Then after explaining him so much he agreed to give interview. One day when a police officer came to his hotel with family and friend he gave a bill of dinner to that officer, the officer said that he is in police. But the hotel owner asked him to pay a bill and very next day he was arrested under some flimsy ground like that he is not having any detail of the waiter who are working for him in the hotel.
The fifth victim was a truck driver. He uses to travel from the Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh. He said that police use to collect 500Rs. From each truck driver on that route on monthly basis on no grounds and if some didn’t pay then they find out useless things and waste their time and have to pay more money so they give it every month.
The persons who are accuse:
The first accuse was caught by police in drunken condition from kundhda village. He was totally unaware what was going on when he was arrested. The police constable ask him to give 500/-Rs. And said that if you give me money I will complete your case in a day and you also don’t have to pay high fees to lawyers. The person agreed and gave and his case was put in the lokadalt.
The second accuse was also from the kundhda village and he was also arrested with the first accuse only by the same officer. And in the same manner he gave money to the officers.
The third accuse was from khatdi village. He was the dealer (bootlegger) of liquor. He was arrested by police officer for selling the liquor. In his possession 12 bottle of English liquor and 500 litter of aatha from which liquor is produced was seized by the police. The police officer ask him to give 2000/-Rs. To produce early before the court and for not beating him.and for the same reason he also gave that money.
The fourth accuse was from piprali village. He was arrested under 323, 324 and 325 of IPC. The police arrested him and didn’t ask for money but he himself said that if they (police) help him to make suffer the victim of the particular case then he will give him 5000/-Rs. As result of which a cross FIR was lodge in this case.
The fifth accuse was from thanghad. He was arrested for illegal mining of coal. Along with him many vehicles like tractor, JCB, etc were seized by police from the spot. His personal car was also been seized by police. This was the second time when his car was seized by the police. So when police was going to made a statement for the same he offered only 1000/- to police but police didn’t agree and ask 5000/- and they settle at 4000/- and ask police officer that not to disclose that this particular car is seized for the second time in same offence.
If we think for a minute and see then there is no such issues for which person should give a single rupee to the police officer in any of the above case. If they have shown some courage then their was no need to pay and if few of the case person themselves offered bribe to police officer for some or the other reasons.
There are various instant when people are giving bribe to the police officer and we all know it very well and many police officer have been also suspended due to taking bribe. I would not like to disclose the name of one senior officer of the state he asked the bribe from one of the police officer only for not taking any action against him. The officer didn’t pay and till today case is going on against the police officer in the court.
Law relating to corruption
In State of M.P. v. Ram Singh, SC traced the history of this particular legislation and found its deep root in First and Second World War’s condition. Before world war, it was only confined to the Bureaucrat for getting big contract, grants, etc. after the second world war the situation become worst and corruption started at small stages also. The government retail shop use to store grains for long time and use to give at higher price to the public. After this the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 came into effect.
The main object of 1947 Act was to remove corruption from various levels of the society.in case of L.K.Advani v. CBI court stated that main aim of this Act is eradication of the corruption which is prevailing in every corner of the country. The Act was primary enacted to render the criminal law more effective in dealing with the cases of bribery and corruption of public servant.
Other Law relating to Corruption
IPC section 161 – 165 deals with this concept but its scope is applicable to also individual and public servant. This section are now covered under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and removed from IPC.
Prevention of corruption Act 1988
This Act was come enforce by passing a bill of 1987. The main aim for this Act was to cover all the provision of IPC and CrPC and also expanded the definition of “Public Servant”.
Corruption generally is viewed as an individual sporadic act. The penal laws of India also treat it as such. But with everyday experiences of common Indian citizens about petty corruptions and "celebrated" corruption scandals at higher levels and subsequent cover up of those corruption issues, tells an entirely different story.
It is difficult to find tail and head of Indian corruption. It is difficult to demarcate classes or groups involved in corruption, it is still difficult to say that should only rulers are called corrupt or the people who are rule should also be termed so.
In India corruption works on different planes. It has a social dimension, it has a cultural dimension and off course it has an economic dimension. In the domain of common men, definition of corruption is very narrow. Corruption is said to be committed only when "money" is transacted. But if an officer appoints a non deserving person of his own caste by overlooking a deserving candidate of other caste - then it is not considered an act of corruption. If an officer does a favor to a person because the beneficiary person has supplied him "sex" then again it is generally not considered as corruption. If someone does a favor while performing his official duties, and favor is based on rationality, religion, caste then these things is considered as genuine service towards the community and not an act of corruption. Thus perception of corruption is determined by cultural values and not laws.
Now the question is that what is the reason behind the corruption? Is it their pay scale which is ranging from 8000 to 80000 Rs maximum? In this condition it is really difficult for person a maintain himself and his family for junior grade police officers although higher level police officer have proper pay scale but I failed to understand the reason of corruption which they are doing. I think so they are more greedy in nature that is the only reason which I assume.
As a student of criminology I found that learning theory and situational criminal theory are applicable in such conditions.
According to Sutherland criminal behavior is learned through association, and close friends / persons. In above mention cases we find that all person want to get rid off from the police by some or the other way and they have learn this method from the society itself only.
When a person is under some kind of pressure he have to do certain thing which would otherwise he never preferred. In above all case the reasons we can find for commission of crime.
From this we can say that society is one of the causes which increase corruption and now the root of corruption went so deep that it becomes really difficult to remove it.
KANWARJIT SINGH KAKKAR v. STATE OF PUNJAB AND ANR. (2011)6 SCR 895
# Dr. Dhamaji Ashok, Prevention of Corruption Act Second Ed 2009, LesixNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur publication house Section 2 of the Act.
# http://www.mudraa.com/trading/95881/0/summary-of-all-scams-in-india-since-1947.html last visited 10-9-2012
# Corruption In India by N. Vittal at pp.17
# Corruption in India by N. Vittal at pp. 48
# AIR 2000 sc 870 at pp. 873
# State of M.P. v. M.V.Narasimhan AIR 1975 SC 1835 at pp. 1839-40
# Neera Yadav v. CBI
# Prevention of corruption Act by Dr. Dhamija Ashok at pp.74 (2nd ED)
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