NEW DELHI: Bombay High Court in August 2011 ruled that bribe in any form; ‘giving or taking’ is an offence, under Prevention of Corruption Act, even if the servant concerned did not agree to your bribe. Therefore, is the daughter of Delhi Chief Minister open to an arrest because of her recent act of offering a bribe to a government official even if it was to inspect his honesty?
According to Section 116 (a) of The Indian Penal Code (IPC), if A offers a bribe to B, a public servant, as a reward for showing A some favour in the exercise of B’s official functions. B refuses to accept the bribe. A is punishable under this sec¬tion.
Aam Aadmi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal on Monday claimed that corruption had come down to 70-80 percent in the national capital ever since his party has taken over and narrated how his daughter found out that the officials were now wary of taking bribes when she went to get her driving license.
Addressing auto-rickshaw drivers public meeting in Burari, Outer Delhi, Delhi CM said, “I would not say that the corruption has ended completely but I can assure that it definitely has decreased by 70-90 percent.”
One of the biggest agendas of the AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal was fighting corruption. On April 5, the AAP government re-launched its anti-corruption helpline 1031 and asked people to extend the details of the person asking for bribes. The helpline has so far received more than 1.25 lakh calls.
With an aim to strike a personal note, Kejriwal cited the experience of daughter of applying for a learner’s driving license and how she tried to find out if officials can be tempted into taking bribe.
“My daughter went to get her learner’s driving license. I could have simply called the department and officers and could have got it done but my daughter chose to be at the office and waited for her turn. She without revealing her identity told the officer that she is not carrying one of the certificates which were required and the officer declined to make her license,” he said.
Kejriwal informed that his daughter then tried to bribe him by offering money. “As she offered money this officer started noticing her phone if she was making a video. My daughter insisted that it was urgent and she was ready to pay any amount but the officer rejected,” he said.
The anti-corruption giant said that the after few minutes, his daughter went back to the officer and presented all her documents to him. “
“The officer after reading her name and my name there asked if she was daughter of Chief Minister of Delhi. This clearly shows that the level of corruption has come down in the city. Even auto drivers have given me feedback. Corrupt officers are afraid while the honest officers are moving courageously,” he said.
In the entire episode, even though people are lauding Kejriwal for his idea of ending corruption, there are some who slammed him and his daughter to intentionally bribe a government officer.
Convener of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, right-wing nationalist organization, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga has claimed of filing a police complaint against Kejriwal’s daughter into the matter.
filing a police complaint today against @ArvindKejriwal daughter for offering bribe to Govt officer.
— Tajinder Pal S Bagga (@tajinderbagga) May 18, 2015
Bagga’s voice was echoed by another RTI and social activist who demanded the arrest of the CM’s daughter.
— ©Kashmiri Pandit ψ™ (@KhushuRK) May 18, 2015
On the other hand, urging a separate law for entrapment, journalist and political commentator Surajit Dasgupta expressed on his Facebook wall, “The Union government must make a law against entrapment. Sting operations began in India in 2004, with the first such show on then newly launched India TV. Since then, most stings have been cases of entrapment. A sting operation should be an act of catching someone in a wrong act where he/she is naturally committing the act without anybody tempting, luring or trapping him/her into it. Eleven years have passed since India's first sting, and yet there is no law governing it.”
Dasgupta further explained, “The act of Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter falls under the category of entrapment. One may proceed against her using existing anti-corruption acts, which lack teeth. Entrapment is morally wrong. Because you are adding to the number of corrupt people by tempting someone who has not been corrupt so far to turn corrupt.”