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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 106
February 14, 2009

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Laws For everyday life

Bribery: Offeror and recipient both can be charged

Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty. This type of action results in matters that should be handled objectively being handled in a manner best suiting the private interests of the decision maker. Bribes can take the form of gifts or payments of money in exchange for favorable treatment, such as awards of government contracts. Bribery constitutes a crime and both the offer or and the recipient can be criminally charged.
The following are some laws which govern bribery offences in Bangladesh.

Chapter IXA of offences relating to elections

Section 171B

(1) Whoever-
(i) gives a gratification to any person with the object of inducing him or any other person to exercise any electoral right or of rewarding any person for having exercised any such right; or
(ii) accepts either for himself or for any other person any gratification as a reward for exercising any such right or for inducing or attempting to induce any other person to exercise any such right, commits the offence of bribery:
Provided that a declaration of public policy or a promise of public action shall not be an offence under this section.
(2) A person who offers, or agrees to give, or offers or attempts to procure, a gratification shall be deemed to give a gratification.
(3) A person who obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a gratification shall be deemed to accept a gratification, and a person who accepts a gratification as a motive for doing what he does not intend to do, or as a reward for doing what he has not done, shall be deemed to have accepted the gratification as a reward.

Punishment of bribery
Section 171E

Whoever commits the offence of bribery shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both:
Provided that bribery by treating shall be punished with fine only.
Explanation.-Treating means that form of bribery where the gratification consists in food, drink, entertainment, or provision.

Chapter VI - offences, penalty and procedure

Section 73
A person is guilty of corrupt practice punishable with [rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall not be less than two years, and also with fine], if he-
(2) has not any election expenses from any source other than sources specified by the contesting candidate in the statement or the supplementary statement submitted under Article 44AA;
(2A) contravenes the provisions of Article 44B;
(2B) is guilty of bribery, personation or undue influence;]
(3) makes or publishes a false statement-
(a) concerning the personal character of a candidate or any of his relations calculated to adversely affect the election of such candidate or for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of another candidate unless he proves that he had reasonable grounds for believing and did believe, the statement to be true;
(b) relating to the symbol of a candidate, whether or not such symbol has been allocated to such candidate; or
(c) regarding the withdrawal of a candidate;
(4) calls upon or persuades any person to vote, or to refrain from voting for any candidate on the ground that he belongs to a particular religion, community, race, caste, sect or tribe;
(5) knowingly, in order to support or oppose a candidate, lets, lends, employs, hires, borrows or uses any vehicle or vessel for the purpose of conveying to or from the polling station any elector except himself and members of his immediate family; or
(6) causes or attempts to cause any person present and waiting to vote at the polling station to depart without voting.

Section 75
A person is guilty of bribery, if he, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf,-
(1) receives or agrees to receive or contracts for any gratification for voting or refraining from voting, or for being or refraining from being a candidate at, or for withdrawing from an election;
(2) gives, offers or promises any gratification to any person-
(3) (a) for the purpose of inducing-
(i) a person to be, or to refrain from being a candidate at an election;
(ii) an elector to vote, or refrain from voting at an election; or
(iii) a candidate to withdraw an election; or
(b) for the purpose of rewarding-
(i) a person for having been, or for having refrained from being, a candidate at an election;
(ii) an elector for having voted or refrained from voting at an election; or
(iii) a candidate for having withdrawn from an election.
Explanation In this article “gratification” includes a gratification in money or estimable in money and all forms of entertainment or employment.

Part VI - proceedings in prosecutions
Chapter XXII of summary trials

Power to try summarily
Section 260

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Code,-
(a) the Metropolitan Magistrate 2
(b) 3 [any 4 Magistrate] of the first class 5, and
(c) any Bench of Magistrates invested with the powers of a Magistrate of the first class 6, 7 [shall] try in a summary way all or any of the following offences:-
(a) offences not punishable with death, transportation or imprisonment for a term exceeding 8[ two years];
(b) offences relating to weights and measures under sections 264, 265 and 266 of the Penal Code;
(c) Hurt, under section 323 of the same Code;
(d) theft, under section 379, 380 or 381 of the same Code, where the value of the property stolen does not exceed 9[ ten thousand taka];
(e) dishonest misappropriation of property under section 403 of the same Code, where the value of the property misappropriated does not exceed 10[ ten thousand taka];
(f) receiving or retaining stolen property under section 411 of the same Code, where the value of such property does not exceed 11[ ten thousand taka];
(g) assisting in the concealment or disposal of stolen property, under section 414 of the same Code, where the value of such property does not exceed 12[ ten thousand taka];
(h) mischief, under 13[ sections 426 and 427] of the same Code;
(i) 14[ criminal trespass, under section 447, and] house trespass, under section 448, and offences under sections 451, 453, 454, 456 and 457 or the same Code;
(j) insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, under section 504, and criminal intimidation, under section 506, 15[ and offences under sections 509 and 510] of the same Code;
(jj) offence of bribery and personation at an election under sections 171E and 171F of the same Code;]
(k) abetment of any of the foregoing offences;
(l) an attempt to commit any of the foregoing offences, when such attempt is an offence;
(m) offences under section 20 of the Cattle-trespass Act,1871: Provided that no case in which a Magistrate exercises the special powers conferred by section 17[ 33A] shall be tried in a summary way.
(2) [Omitted by section 22 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 1982 (Ordinance No. XXIV of 1982).]



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