Why a CMD of an organisation should not be jailed if he/she is caught paying bribes? In the US and the UK, CMDs of reputed companies are facing music if they are caught in corruption cases
Tathagata Satpathy, BJD Chief Whip
New Delhi:Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha Tathagata Satpathy Tuesday called for arrest of the heads of corporate bodies in cases of commercial organisations found engaged in corruption related activities in the country and asked not to give them relief by imposing penalties alone.
Satpathy, who also accused the NDA government at the Centre of favouring corporate bodies through the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, told the Lok Sabha, “A farmer out of compulsion may pay a bribe of `2 lakh to get a job for his son. You are ready to send him to jail under the law but for business houses you are just asking for fines. This is to shield the corporate bodies.”
Calling for a more stringent law, he said, “Why a CMD of an organisation should not be jailed if he/she is caught paying bribes for getting the works done? In the US and the UK, CMDs of reputed companies are facing music if they are caught in corruption cases.”
The Dhenkanal MP, taking part in the debate on Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2018, also said that now corruption is not limited to monetary benefits alone, it also has different dimensions. He said that tweaking policies, amending law and making policies to benefit some specific people is also a form of corruption.
Speaking on Section 7 of the Act, Satpathy said, “Such a provision can potentially be used to harass honest officials against whom nothing could be proved and an allegation would be enough to trouble him. A person could be tried for not committing an offence but for being accused of having bad intentions and the matter ends there.”
Talking about the whistleblowers, he said, “The bill says that a person who is giving a bribe has to report within seven days to get legal safeguard and under any circumstance if a person fails to do so he would be in a legal trouble. This means under this law nobody can dare to be a whistleblower and nobody can bother to speak up.”
He also questioned why the manufacturing units have not been defined under the commercial organisation category and why the CBI, Vigilance and other law enforcing agencies only nab the officials from the lowest strata and fail to act against guilty IAS and IPS officers in corruption cases.