Anti-corruption laws and how to ensure compliance

By Anay Banhatti and Virangana Wadhawan, Economic Laws Practice
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India’s image for public sector corruption is steadily improving. In 2015, India was ranked 76th (out of 168 countries) in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, up from 94th in 2013 and 85th in 2014.

Anay Banhatti
Anay Banhatti

Corruption – traditionally viewed as “the cost of doing business” in India – has mired the country’s growth story. Although the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PCA), which is the principal law that criminalizes corruption, has been in force for almost three decades, the weak enforcement levels have been the subject of criticism. However, with increasingly stringent anti-corruption laws and a notable increase in investigation by various regulators, anti-corruption compliance has become an important matter for corporations with investments or operations in India.

In the recent past, there has been an increase in enforcement of anti-corruption laws. The focus has been on grant of contracts and licences by government agencies, including in relation to allocation of resources (telecom spectrum, coal blocks, etc.). In some of these cases, the Supreme Court or high courts have directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate and have periodically monitored the investigation process.

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Anay Banhatti is an associate partner and Virangana Wadhawan is an associate at Economic Laws Practice. This article is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute a legal opinion or advice.

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