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A Snapshot of the U.K. Bribery Act 2010

 
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A Snapshot of the U.K. Bribery Act 2010
LITIGATION AND INDIAN COURTS
 

The U.K. Bribery Act is the primary legislation that imposes duties and liabilities over individuals and commercial organizations to curb the activities of giving and taking bribes. The Act is quite different from its Indian counterpart i.e. The Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, as along with condemning the acts of bribe giving and taking, the Act also publishes the activities of bribing foreign public officials and failing to prevent bribery in one’s commercial organization. In addition to the above, the Act also does not differentiate between public and private official while ascertaining the offence of bribe giving and taking i.e. unreasonable corporate gifts may be treated as an offence of bribe giving under the Act.

Extra-territorial Jurisdiction

Yes (Persons and Commercial Organizations liable for offences committed in India)

Offences under the Act

Section 1 - Offence of bribing someone

Section 2 - Offence of being bribed

Section 6 - Offence of bribing a Foreign Public Official

Section 7 - Offence by a Commercial Organizations for failure to prevent bribery.

 

Punishments under the Act

Punishments for Individuals (Section 11):

  1. If offence tried as a summary offence, imprisonment up to 12 months and fined up to £5,000.

  2. If found guilty on indictment, imprisonment up to 10 years and an unlimited fine.

Punishments for Commercial Organizations:

  1. Failure to prevent bribery is punishable by an unlimited fine. (Not more than 400% of the value of their gain from the criminal conduct, may be increased if certain aggravating factors exist)

  2. Organisation can be debarred from tendering for public contracts if found guilty of bribing another person (section 1) or bribery of foreign public officials (section 6). 

A convicted individual or organisation may be subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, while a company director who is convicted may be disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Punishments and orders under other Laws may also be imposed by the courts.

Commercial Organizations Liable for conduct of

1.      Person performing service for Commercial Organization

2.      Employees

3.      Agents

4.      Subsidiaries

5.      Associated Persons

 

Exceptions

No exceptions for Kickbacks and Facilitation Payments

Section 7 of the Act recommends that each commercial organization should have adequate procedures to prevent corrupt practices by a person associated with that commercial organization. Such adequate procedures act as a defence for commercial organizations whose associated persons are charged with offences under this Act.

The Ministry of Justice, exercising its powers under Section 9 of the Bribery Act 2010 has issued the Guidance to the U.K. Bribery Act 2010 which recommends six principles of compliance procedures which relevant commercial organizations can put into place to prevent persons associated with them from bribing.

The Six Principles of Compliance are as follows:

  1. Proportionate Procedures

  2. Top-Level Commitment

  3. Risk Assessment

  4. Due Diligence

  5. Communication and Training

  6. Monitoring and Review

 

For more information on Anti Corruption Laws please write to us at: info@ssrana.com

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