Latest News

Establishment of Lokpal in light of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption

The word corruption comes from the lation word corruptus which means to destroy or to break. Corruption can be understood asan abuse of public power for private gain.  Corruption can involve politicians, governmnet officials, public servants, businessmen, members of the public, etc. They happen mostly in shadows are aided by bankers, awyers, accountants, real estate agents, etc who let the ends meets allowing the corruption business to flourish. Corruption is no more lomited by boundaies of countries, thanks to globalisation, corruption is now a global phenomena and poses a threat ot the global development and hinders a country's growth across various sectors.

The international laws for prevention of corruption came into the scene only around mid 1990s when the countris enacted various legialations and made efforts to prevent corruption. In this context, the international forum, United Ntions, in 2003 passed the United Ntions Convention Against Corruptio (UNCAC) and by 2005 the convention attained the minimum number of countrys' ratification. India ratified the convention in 2011.

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the only legally binding international anti corruption multi lateral treaty, requires the state parties to criminalise some acts of corruption which previously were not covered under corruption. It alos provides for the setting up of institutuional mechanisms for investigationg corrupt acts and alo requires inter country cooperation for recovering the assets transferred from the country of origin by illegal means.The convention includes the preventive as well as the punitive measures within its ambit.  Article 15 of the convention requires the state parties to take measures targetting bribery by public officials while article 16 deals with bribery by foreign nationals. Embezzelment, misappropriation, diversion of property by public officials and trading in influence have been mentioned in articles 17 and 18,respectively. Thus the covention primarily tries to curb corruption at all levels by urging the state parties to enact legislations or establish institutions to keep a tab on corruption.

The lokpal and lokayuktas Act, 2013 made the provision for the offices of the lokpal and lokayuktas, the indian ombudsmen at the national and sate levels to address the grievances against the public authorities. The Preamble of the Act clearly lays down the motto of it being an Act to provide for the establishent of a body of lokpal for the union and the lokayuktas for the states to inquire into allegations of corruption against the public officials and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Preamble of the act further upholds the virtues of justice and fairness and its importance in a democracy. It explicitly mentions the UNCAC and speaks of the governments commitment towards responsive governance by enacting such laws and establishing such effetive bodies to reach the goals. The act thus shares the objective of the UNCAC to reduce corruption by bringing about necessary administrative and legal changes in the system. A complaint can be launched against any public servant alleging that the person has committed an offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The lokpal is constituted of body of persons headed by a chairpersons and such other number of members not exceeding eight. 

  • what is the UNCAC ?
  • establishment of the office of lokpal
  • passing of the lokpal and lokayuktas act, 2013

BY : Mekhla Chakraborty

All Latest News