Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Anti-corruption law amended to protect officers for their bona fide mistakes; babus now expected to take bolder decisions

THE Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018, paving the way for protecting honest officers, as the investigative agencies won’t now be able to probe a serving or a retired government officer without the prior sanction of the government. It’s a major departure of the earlier regime when a public servant could be investigated for taking a bad decision even as she did not receive any pecuniary benefits. The bill which was first tabled way back in 2013, was already passed by the Rajya Sabha. The IAS association and a number of senior bureaucrats including…
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and former HRD secretary Anil Swarup hailed the decision in social media, saying the decision would encourage bureaucrats to take bolder decisions.
The IAS Association tweeted: “The Association thanks the Government for the amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act - specially Section 13 (1) (d) (iii). This will protect honest officers and encourage them to take bold decisions. #Grateful @PMOIndia.” 
Kant calls the amendment a landmark decision adding: “A public servant can now take bona fide decision without any fear. Earlier, even if no pecuniary benefit is received by a public servant, he/she could still be penalised. This is a game changer as only malafide decisions would now be punished”.
The new amendment has made it clear that giving bribe, and not just taking it, is a crime. 
Another legislation — Whistleblowers Bill — is likely to be brought into the Rajya Sabha.

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