The CBI registered 425 cases of corruption in 2020.

Public Servants Accepting Bribes

Last updated on Jun 15, 2022

Corruption is the abuse of power by people in power for their own gain in a dishonest or unethical way. In India, it is illegal for public servants to accept money/gifts over and above their salary, in return for doing their duty, favoring a person or for not doing their duty. Any person helping the public servant commit these crimes can also be punished.

Public servants in India are not allowed to:

  • Accept money/gifts other than the salary provided as part of their job;
  • Ask for or get money/gifts, in addition to their salary, in return for doing their official duty;
  • Ask for or get money/gifts, in addition to their salary, in return for not doing their official duty;
  • Be partial to someone who has paid them money or give them gifts;
  • Do any special favours for someone who has offered them money or gifts;
  • You can be sent to jail for a period of 3 to 7 years and be asked to pay a fine for doing any of the above.

A public servant breaks the law by accepting any gift or benefit, not just money. You are breaking the law if you, as a public servant, accept something of value from a person without paying for the gift/service and with whom you have a business or official relationship. You can be sent to jail for a period of 6 months to 5 years and may also have to pay a fine.

Example: You are a public servant working in the Public Works Department and are in-charge of approving tender for road construction. You accept a car from Ravi without paying him any money. You know that his company will apply to your department for approval of a contract to build a highway. If Ravi is given the approval, accepting the car would be considered as accepting a bribe.

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