Long Essay on Who is Responsible for Bribe - Giver or Taker

Who is Responsible for Bribe - Giver or Taker is a very important topic which is discussed in the schools/colleges among students and teachers as well as students who are preparing for various competitive exams. Professionals also need a long article or essay on this burning topic to get a thorough idea about it.

Who is Responsible for Bribe - Giver or Taker Long Essay in English


Here is a long essay on Who is Responsible for Bribe; Giver or Taker, which is written to serve the purpose of enhancing your knowledge about the subject.

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Introduction

Bribery is an act when two parties collude to mutually benefit each other in an unlawful and illegal way. For the exchange of bribery to take place, there has to be a bribe giver and a bribe taker. Bribe giver is someone who pays the bribe in order to get a job done, and the one who accepts the bribe, that is the bribe taker, always has some kind of authority to perform the proposed task under his discretion.

Most of the times, it is an unlawful collusion where both the giver and taker are equally responsible, but, there exists other situations also, where bribe giver is more responsible than the taker or vice versa. Nevertheless, before the law, they both are equally responsible and liable for punishment.

Bribe Giver

Bribe giver is someone who offers bribe. He/She is well aware of the reason behind the exchange of bribe. In the case of a bribe giver there could be two scenarios – firstly, s/he is pays bribe to get something unlawful, illegal or unethical done by the bribe taker.

For example – parents offering bribe to the teacher to pass their ward in a particular subject; motorist offering bribe to the policeman to not fine him/her for jumping the signal etc. In this case both the parents and the motorist know that they are at fault, but, nevertheless, they offer bribes for their own benefit.

Consider the second situation where the bribe giver has to pay bribe for getting something done for which s/he is legally authorized for. For Example – a citizen paying bribe to a transport official to get his driving license, despite having cleared all the tests; or an economically weaker person paying bribe to get a subsidized gas connection, to which he is anyways entitled to.

Bribe Taker

The bribe taker, unlike the bribe giver, always has an authority and power to take specific decisions in favour of the bribe giver. He could either be approached by the giver or could demand the bribe himself.

We will consider few examples of briber takers – a policeman taking bribe to let go an offender; a ticket examiner taking bribe to give an unauthorized entry into a train etc.

There could be different situations leading to the bribe taker taking the bribe i.e. s/he could be persuaded, approached, forced to accept the bribe or s/he could demand the bribe on their own behest. Nevertheless, in all these situations, once a bribe taker accepts the bribe s/he becomes a criminal in the eyes of law.

Who is More Responsible for Corruption - Bribe Taker or Bribe Giver?

The answer to the above question varies with the situations. Sometimes, the giver is more responsible than the taker or vice versa and sometimes both of them are equally responsible.

For example, consider a builder to get the map of a multistory building approved by the Development Authority officials. Now, there could be two situations – 1) The map is very well under the prescribed rules and regulations, but the officials (Taker) are demanding money for its clearance, and 2) Certain norms have been compromised while drafting the map and the builder is offering bribe to the officials for its clearance.

In the first case the official acting as a bribe taker, deliberately demands the bribe from the builder to award necessary clearances. Here the builder is a victim, who is being forced to pay the bribe for something he has done within the precincts of law. In this case the bribe taker is more responsible for the illegal transaction than the bribe giver.

Moving onto the second situation; where the builder approaches the official, offering bribe in exchange of giving clearances to his plan which has certain legal issues. In this case, if the official accepts the bribe, he is in no way less responsible than the giver. They both are equally responsible for getting into an well understood collusion to provide mutual benefits.

Law Relating to Bribe Giving and Bribe Taking

Both giving bribe and taking bribe have been termed punishable offences by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 and also by the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988.

The law considers bribe taking and bribe giving as equal offences and punishable by penalties and imprisonment.

The law also penalizes someone who acts as a facilitator or as a liaison between the two parties, that is, the bribe giver and bribe taker.

The Government of India cleared the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2018, raising the punishments for both bribe givers as well as bribe takers. The bill brought the bribe giver, who was till now only considered an abettor, at par with the bribe taker. Now the bribe giver and bribe taker, both are liable for equal punishments in the eyes of law.

The minimum jail term for both the offenders (givers and takers) has been raised from 6 months to 3 years, extendable up to 7 years, with a fine.

Offenders who are repeatedly involved in bribery are liable for a minimum punishment of 5 years, extendable up to 10 years.

If There is no Bribe Giver, can There be a Bribe Taker?

If there is no bribe giver a bribe taker cannot practically exist. For someone to be a bribe taker there has to be someone who is giving the bribe. Though, the bribe may not necessarily be pecuniary, nevertheless, there has to be some kind of bribe given by the giver.

For any public servant who has accepted a bribe, there has to be someone who has offered or given the bribe. Similarly the above statement can also be interpreted as “If there is no bribe giver, then there will be no bribe taker”.

Bribe Giver or Bribe Taker are Equally Responsible

Both the bribe giver and bribe taker are equally responsible for the offences they commit. Previous laws have considered bribe givers as mere abettors, giving them a little legal advantage bovver the bribe takers, but the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2018, considers the bribe giver at par with the bribe taker.

A bribe giver might have been persuaded into the coercion by the taker or vice versa. Whatever the case may be, once the transaction took place between the two, they both are equally punishable under law.

But there also exists certain exceptions in which the bribe giver is considered a victim. For example consider a poor man bribing a land records official to for measuring his land, which is nevertheless, latter’s official duty. Even then, if the official demands bribe persistently then the poor farmer is left with no option other than to concede to his demands; in this case the farmer gets a respite from the law and he is considered more as a victim rather than an offender.

Do You Think is it Right to Punish Bribe Giver or Bribe Taker?

Well, under law both are equal offenders and to be punished at par with each other. Though, there could be many complex situations leading to the exchange of bribe.

If the bribe giver is deliberately persuaded to pay the bribe for getting the things done to which s/he is legally entitled to, then in this case, in my opinion the giver should not be considered as an offender at par with the taker. Nevertheless, if there is collusion and both have mutually agreed on it, then they both deserve to be punished equally.

Bribe taker, on the other hand, is someone who can’t pretend to be a victim. There is no point or a weak one, in the argument if a bribe taker states that he has been forced into it. Even if s/he was being persuaded to accept the bribe in return of a favour, they always had the liberty to reject such advances.

Accepting the bribe for whatever reason may be, a bribe taker is more liable for punishment than a bribe giver. Had the bribe taker wished, s/he would have nipped the corruption in the bud by refusing to accept the bribe.

Conclusion

As long as there are bribe givers, there will be bribe takers and as long as there are bribe takers, there will be bribe givers. Both the bribe givers and bribe takers mutually exist, supporting each other. The only way to eliminate bribery is by changing ourselves.

If we change ourselves, the society and the system will gradually change. What if we resolve not to bribe any public servant for whatsoever reasons? If we become law abiding citizens than the probable takers of bribe will have no excuse to ask for it. Even if someone deliberately asks for the bribe, we should have the courage to out rightly reject the demand.

But, we can do so only if we are legally clean and have not committed any kind of offence under the law. So, let the time take its own course and finally the probable bribe taker will realize that he is legally bound to dispense his duties, even if there is no one to offer any bribe.