Chapter

Bribing Legislators During the Raj<sup>1</sup>

A.G. Noorani

in CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTS

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678291
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080588 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.003.0044
Bribing Legislators During the Raj1

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This chapter discusses the legal aspects concerning the bribery of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Members of Parliament (MP) in India. Under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, it is not an offence to bribe an MLA or MP. This was not so even under Prevention of Corruption Act 1947. These acts were enacted to penalize the offer to and receipt or demand of a bribe by a minister, a civil servant, or a voter as these were considered public servants. However, a Constitution bench of five judges to the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that MLA is not a public servant and not covered by anti-corruption law. In addition, the Salmon Commission held that an MLA does not perform a public duty and that membership of parliament does not constitute public office for the purposes of the common law.

Keywords: bribery; MLA; Members of Parliament; India; Prevention of Corruption Act 1988; Prevention of Corruption Act 1947; public servant; public office; common law

Chapter.  1239 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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