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India ratifies UN convention against corruption

May 12, 2011 22:03 IST

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh issued a statement in New Delhi on Thursday morning, before his departure for Kabul, on India completing the process of ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. 

The Convention, ratified six years after it was signed by India, will help the government to seize illicit money and assets.

"I have been informed that India has completed the process of ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption," the Prime Minister said.

"The completion of this ratification process has been under active consideration since September 2010", he said adding that a Group of Ministers has been overseeing the ratification process.

According to the UN Convention, each member country shall "consider adopting appropriate legislative and administrative measures, consistent with the objectives of this Convention and in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law, to prescribe criteria concerning candidature for and election to public office."

It also prescribes disciplinary or other measures against public officials who violate the codes or standards established in accordance with this article.

"The ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption is a reaffirmation of our government's commitment to fight corruption and to undertake vigorously administrative and legal reforms to enable  our law enforcement agencies to recover illicit assets stolen by corrupt practices," Singh said.

Before ratifying the UN Convention, government was required to make changes in domestic laws to have more transparency in funding election campaigns and political parties among other crucial legislative steps to bring it at par with the international instrument.

The Convention has already been inked by 140 countries. In the backdrop of agitation by Anna Hazare-led civil society activists, questions had been raised recently on why India was not ratifying the convention even six years after signing it.