A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the center to ascertain the feasibility of confiscating Benami properties, disproportionate assets, and black money.
The petition filed by BJP Spokesperson Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has also sought life imprisonment for offenses such as bribery, black money, Benami property, tax evasion, money laundering, profiteering, grain hoarding, food adulteration, human and drug trafficking, black marketing, and cheating.
The plea states that the cause of action accrued on 1 December 2020, when corruption watchdog Transparency International placed India at 80 in the Corruption Perception Index.
“Due to weak and ineffective anti-corruption laws, India has never been ranked even among top 50 in Corruption Perception Index but Centre has not strengthened them to weed out the menace of corruption, which brazenly offends rule of law as well as the right to life liberty dignity guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21,” read the plea.
Further, the plea added that “Due to the weak and ineffective anti-corruption laws, none of the welfare schemes and government departments are free from corruption.”
The petition also claimed that corruption has devastating effects on the right to life, liberty, dignity, and it badly affects social and economic justice, fraternity, the dignity of individual, unity, and national integration, thus offends fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.
“The injury caused to people is extremely large because corruption is an insidious plague, having a wide range of corrosive effects on society. It undermines democracy and rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life, and allows organized crimes like separatism, terrorism, Naxalism, radicalism, gambling, smuggling, kidnapping, money laundering, and extortion, and other threats to human security to flourish,” stated the plea.
The plea has alternatively sought directions to the Law Commission of India and/or Lokpal to examine and publish the best anti-corruption laws of the world, particularly the most effective provisions related to bribery, black money, Benami property, disproportionate assets, tax evasion, money laundering, profiteering, grain hoarding, food adulteration, human-drug trafficking, black marketing, cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust, falsification of accounts, Benami transactions and fraud including corporate fraud and forensic fraud.
“The corruption hurts EWS-BPL families disproportionately by diverting the funds intended for development, undermines government’s ability to provide basic services, seeds inequality and injustice, and discourages foreign aids and investment,” added the plea.