Saturday, December 9, 2023

Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking life term jail as penalty in cases of corruption

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to ascertain the feasibility of confiscating cent percent black money, benami properties and disproportionate assets and awarding life-long imprisonment for offences relating to bribery, black money, benami property etc.

A three-judge bench of Justices S.K. Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy has granted liberty to petitioner Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to withdraw the petition and approach the law commission.

The petitioner filed the plea seeking a direction to the Law Commission of India to examine and publish the best anti-corruption laws of the world, particularly the most effective provisions related to bribery, black money, benami property etc.

According to the petitioner, the cause of action accrued on January 24, 2020 when corruption watchdog Transparency International put India at 80 in the Corruption Perception Index. Due to weak and ineffective anti-corruption laws, India has never been ranked even among top 50 countries in Corruption Perception Index but the Centre has not strengthened laws to weed-out the menace of corruption, which brazenly offends rule of law as well as the individual’s right to live their life with liberty and dignity guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.

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During the hearing on Friday, Justice Kaul said the Court cannot issue a mandamus to Parliament. Instead of persuading the authority, the tendency is now to come to courts to direct the parliament with regard to a law. It is impossible to pass an order in this kind of petition where there is no suggestion. 

“Have you ever made a representation to the law commission? Go to the law commission,” the bench remarked.

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  1. Corruption in public life should be dealt with Iron hands. The breeding grounds of corruption should be weeded out, so that a healthy society to bloom. A farmers primary duty is to weedout the parasites growing on a healthy tree. So also the Governments at the centre and the state level should come heavily on the perpetrators. Life imprisonment is defenetely not the answer but accountability concept is very much needed. Coruption in public life, deserves to be cindemned. Integrety, public as well as private life is very much essential. When a public authority exercise his official power un der his authority, should be exercised with utmost integrity, so that there is no miscarriage of justice. Wilful default should be condemned and should be anserable.

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