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What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?
The anti-corruption laws prescribe various penalties. For instance, the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 sets out that public servants found guilty of the prescribed offences or any person found to have abetted in the commission of such offences will be subject to a prison term of between three and seven years (seven years for repeat offenders) and a fine to be set by the court.
Similarly, the commission of fraud under the Companies Act 2013 involving an amount exceeding Rs1 million or 1% of the company turnover (whichever is higher) or which involves public interest, is subject to a prison term between six months and 10 years and a fine of up to three times the amount involved in the offence.
Money laundering, as defined in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, is subject to a prison term of between three and 10 years and a fine or up to Rs500,000.
Commission of relevant offences under the Penal Code is punishable with three to seven years’ imprisonment.
Other penalties include confiscation or attachment of the accused’s property, or debarment or blacklisting from dealing with government authorities (in perpetuity or for a specific duration).
Companies or organisations
What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?
The anti-corruption laws do not differentiate between the penalties to be imposed for offences committed by an individual and those committed by a company or organisation; therefore, the relevant penalties apply to both. However, where the penalty for a given offence involves imprisonment and a fine, the courts will impose only the fine on the company or organisation (as the penalty of imprisonment cannot be imposed on a legal person), although persons in charge of the company or responsible for the conduct of its business when the offence was committed may be liable to imprisonment.
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