Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Unravelling the anatomy of legal corruption in India: Focusing on the ‘honest graft’ by the politicians

Pethe, Abhay and Tandel, Vaidehi and Gandhi, Sahil (2012): Unravelling the anatomy of legal corruption in India: Focusing on the ‘honest graft’ by the politicians. Published in: Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. 47, No. 21 : pp. 55-62.

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Corruption in India is ubiquitous and may be broadly identified as illegal and legal. This paper delves into the typology of legal corruption in India, which, apart from abuse of discretionary power, and tactical law and policy making, also includes – not so well documented – use of information advantage and the externality impact of such information by politicians to make gains. The paper, by analyzing the growth rates in assets of some politicians in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, finds that the elected politicians experience a higher growth in their assets as compared to the market growth. The findings strongly support the existence of this form of legal corruption in India. The paper recommends that practices of ‘misuse’ of information advantage by politicians to make legal gains could be reduced by enforcing greater transparency via dissemination of relevant information in public domain. These measures must be backed by broad based reforms – that are commensurate with the current level of economic development – that would bring about system-wide changes in an effort to lower overall corruption in the country.

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