A bribe is a quid-pro-quo to perform one’s duty improperly or dishonestly.
What are the various legislations under which a person is punishable for corruption?
A person can file a complaint against a public servant who has asked for a bribe directly with the CBI, CVC, Police, State Vigilance, or Court for violations related to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and Indian Penal Code. The Whistleblowers Protection Act and the Lokpal & Lokayukta Act require a person to file a complaint with the appropriate authority and the Lokpal, respectively.
What is the Procedure to file a complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act?
Following government agencies are empowered to investigate and make an arrest under the Act
CBI – Inspector of Police
In Metropolitan Areas under CrPC – Assistant Commissioner of Police
Elsewhere – Deputy Superintendent of Police or a Police Officer of equivalent rank
Any other person other than above can investigate or arrest for the offences under POCA under two situations –
First – When a Metropolitan Magistrate or First Class Magistrate orders such other person from aforesaid agencies to make such arrest.
Two – When a State Government authorizes Police officer below the rank of Inspector of Police to make an arrest or investigate the matter under POCA.
Also, if any Public Servant is guilty of Criminal Misconduct as per Section 13 (1) (b) then to continue with investigation authorization of Superintendent of Police is required as per Act.
The procedure to obtain sanction to prosecute Public Servant is as follows –
Firstly – Person files the complaint along with reasonable materials before a Court of Special Judge about the alleged offence for which the Public Servant is sought to be prosecuted
Secondly – The Court has not dismissed such complaint u/s 203 of CrPC.
Thirdly – After receiving the complaint, the Court directs the complainant to obtain the sanction for prosecution against the Public Servant.
Fourthly – A person has to apply to the concerned government seeking sanction to prosecute the Public Servant.
Fifthly – The concerned government agency has to give ‘opportunity to be heard’ to the accused Public Servant as to why sanction to prosecute him should not be given, and
Lastly – The time period under which the concerned government may try to grant sanction is 3 months, extendable by a period of one month.
Indian Penal Code-
Chapter IX of the IPC deals with offences by or relating to Public Servants and Chapter IX A deals with offences relating to elections. Also, a complaint can be filed against the Public Servant u/s 409 for the Criminal Breach of Trust. The aforesaid offences fall under cognizable as well as non-cognizable offence.
A complaint against the Public Servant for an offence of bribery or relating to bribery, under the IPC, can be registered in the following ways –
One – For the cognizable offence one can go to Police Station with the material evidence and lodge an FIR u/s 154 of the CrPC. The complaint can be oral or in writing.
If the Police Station refused to lodge an FIR, the aggrieved complainant can send his complaint to the Superintendent of Police u/s 154(3) of the CrPC to investigate the case.