What is in Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018

Corruption in India has prevailed for ages. It erodes trust, weakens democracy, affects economic development, and increases inequality, poverty, social division, and an environmental crisis.

Corruption gets started with opportunistic leaders who feel that it is an opportunity to earn if anyone comes to them for any work.

The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was enacted to prevent corruption in the offices of a public servant. Since then, no more changes were made in the act, which led to its limited success.

With the limited success of this act, a new act was needed. Thus, the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 came into force on the 26th of July 2018.

Provisions of Anti-Corruption Bill

The provision of the anti-corruption bill can get divided into five categories:


Earlier, there was no specific provision other than abetment. After the amendment, giving a bribe is an offence and is punishable with seven years of imprisonment except when someone gets forced to give a bribe. The bribe is an undue advantage taken by any officials other than the legal remuneration offered to them. But this should get reported within seven days.

Criminal Misconduct

Criminal Misconduct gets used to cover offences that include taking bride habitually and getting anything for free or at a concession for obtaining a pecuniary advantage for oneself or others without interest of the public.

Under the amendment act, criminal misconduct will include two offences:

  • Misappropriating property entrusted to the banker
  • Amassing assets disproportionate to far frame sources of financial gain.

Pre-investigation approval

Police will now need prior approval from the relevant authority or the government to begin the investigation; this condition won’t apply when the accused is caught red-handed.

The Sanction for Prosecution

A sanction now gets needed for prosecuting former officials for offences done while in office.

Forfeiture of Property

The special courts introduced this section to attach and cofesticate property, which the civil courts did under the 1944 ordinance.

Prevention of Corruption Bill (Amendment) Act 2013 as Relief for Bankers

The criminal misconduct provision safeguards public servants from being wrongly prosecuted for official selections. Under it, bankers can not be forced underneath the corruption law unless they need accumulated assets quite what they might have obtained with their steady financial gain or have embezzled assets entrusted to them.

The modification comes at a time once the bankers face intense scrutiny for his or her loaning selections that have resulted in NPAs. Bankers have argued for a protracted time that they ought not to get prosecuted for loaning selections they created honestly.

The modification conjointly intends to empower the general public to refuse to {offer|to provide|to present|to administer|to allow|to convey|to grant|to relinquish} a bribe with provisions of penalty for those that volitionally offer a bribe to the govt. officers

Earlier, sanction was needed underneath the interference of the Corruption Act for serving officers solely, but now, sanctions for IPC offences cowl each serving and retired officers.

Forfeiture of property is believed to avoid a contemporary procedure to confiscate property obtained through corruption and modify the court conducting a trial to try and do so itself.

People don’t seem to be notably happy concerning the pre-investigation approval rule. Also, there was no similar provision within the Act. However, a rule almost like it was affected by the Supreme Court.

Prevention of Corruption Act 2018

The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was amended by the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 to make the existing law rigid and expand the coverage of offence under the act.

Key Highlights of The Prevention of Corruption Act2018

The Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 included the following changes

Change in Definition

The Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 included the following definition:

  • Prescribed: The term Prescribed got introduced for the rules that the Central Government can draft under the Act.

    Following rules got anticipated;

    • Rules for organisations and companies to form guidelines and procedures to prevent their employees from providing undue advantages to the public servant
    • Rules for the prosecution of a public servant
  • Undue Advantage: This got defined to mean any gratification apart from legal remuneration. The term “gratification” got processed to incorporate all varieties of gratification estimable in cash besides the medium of exchange.
  • Legal Remuneration: This got processed to incorporate all remuneration an employee can receive by the involved authority.

Key amendments of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018

Time extensions:

The Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 under Section 4(5) has provided two years from filing the case in the court to complete the trial for corruption cases by the Special Judge. The time extension can get provided for six months. It also provides that the trial should not exceed four years in any case.

Separate provision forgiver of the bride:

The amendment act provides a separate provision for the giver of the bride not provided under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018. The amendment act under Section 8 provides this separate provision.

The amendment act addresses the supply side of corruption, which punishes anyone who gives a bribe or promises to give a bribe or any undue advantage as a reward to the public servant for improper performance of the duty; such person shall be punishable with imprisonment of seven years or fine or with both.

The said section does not apply to the person who got forced to give a bribe or undue advantage to the public servant and has reported the law enforcement agencies within seven years from the date of providing such benefit.

It is irrelevant whether such undue influence is received directly from the person who is to be bribed or by any other person.

Commercial Organisation:

The amendment act defines and introduces the concept of corporate liability or commercial liability under Section 9. It not only covers companies, partnerships incorporated in India and performs business in India or Outside India, But it also includes partnerships and companies incorporated outside India and carrying out business in India.

The amendment makes Commercial organisations guilty and punishable with a fine if a person associated with the organisation promises to give undue advantage to obtain any business or benefit the conduct of the business.

Punishment as per the Prevention Corruption Act 2018

Punishment under Section 7, Section 12, Section 14 of the Amendment Act has extended the sentence for the offence by a public servant from a minimum penalty of six months to a minimum punishment of three years and maximum punishment of five years to seven years with or without fine. Sentences in case of abetment also get increased.

Punishment in case of a recurring offence also gets increased from minimum imprisonment of two years to five years and maximum imprisonment of seven years to ten years.

  • Corruption by Public Servant:

    The Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 of Section 13 referred to the misuse of the property and unjust grounds for the misconduct of assets. It provided the grounds where the public servant can get accused of criminal misconduct.

  • Sanctions for Prosecution:

    The Prevention of Corruption Act 2018 requires the sanction of the appropriate government in case of prosecution of public servants. The Amendment Act under Section 17A extends the protection to prior enquiry or investigation before prosecution. Accordingly, no police officer can initiate an inquiry against a public servant, whether current or former.


Every legislation is required to be amended from time to time as per the requirement of the society, but as it lacks to step as per the requirement of the society, it was required to amend it. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was an old act and was not amended from time to time. The Amendment Act of 2013 was a much-required step for the betterment of society as corruption is present in and around everywhere and is spoiling the economy, environment and the growth of the society.

Thus, the Prevention Of Corruption Act of 2018 is a significant step taken by the Government to improve the condition of society and make the laws more severe.

FAQs on Prevention of Corruption Act

What was the need for amendment in the Prevention of Corruption Act of 26th of July, 2018?

The amendment required to build an anti-corruption legal framework in conformity with current International Practices laid down by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

Who is a Public Servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act?

A public servant gets defined under the Indian Penal Code as a government employee, officer in military, navy or air force, police, judge, officers of Court of Justice or any other local authority established under the state or central legislation.

What is the need for the Prevention of Corruption Act?

The Prevention of Corruption Act was required to curb corruption in the country.

What activities amount to corruption?

Activities like Bribery, Embezzlement, Extortion and Fraud are some types of activities related to corruption.

Criminal Law