Corruption in Sri Lanka


The Offence of Corruption
Bribery Act
70. Any public servant who, with intent, to cause wrongful or unlawful loss to the
Government, or to confer a wrongful or unlawful benefit, favour or advantage on
himself or any person, or with knowledge, that any wrongful or unlawful loss will be
caused to any person or to the Government, or that any wrongful or unlawful benefit,
favour or advantage will be conferred on any person-

(a) does, or forbears to do, any act, which he is empowered to do by virtue of
his office as a public servant;

(b) induces any other public servant to perform, or refrain from performing,
any act, which such other public servant is empowered to do by virtue of
his office as a public servant;

(c) uses any information coming to his knowledge by virtue of his office as a
public servant;

(d) participates in the making of any decision by virtue of his office as a public
servant;

(e) induces any other person, by the use, whether directly or indirectly, of his
office as such public servant to perform, or refrain from performing, any
act,

shall be guilty of the offence of corruption and shall upon summary trial and
conviction by a Magistrate be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten
years or to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees or to both such
imprisonment and fine.

The analysis of section 70 of the Bribery act reveals that the offence of corruption is constituted by the following elements.
1. Public Servant
2. Committed the offence with the intention of causing the following;
a. Wrongful or unlawful loss to the government;
b. Wrongful or unlawful benefit, favour or advantage on himself or any other person
3. Or, Committed the offence with the knowledge that the following will take place;
a. Wrongful or unlawful loss to the government or to any person
b. Wrongful or unlawful benefit, favour or advantage on any person
4. Does one or more of the following;
a. Does or forbears to do, any act which he is empowered which he is empowered to do by virtue his office as a public servant;
b. induces any other public servant to perform, or refrain from performing any act, which such other public servant is empowered to do by virtue of his office as a public servant;
c. uses any information coming to his knowledge by virtue of his office as a public servant;
d. participates in the making of any decision by virtue of his office as a public servant;
e. induces any other person, by the use, whether directly or indirectly, of his office as such public servant to perform, or refrain from performing, any act
The mens rea element embedded in the definition warrant a further analysis. According to G.L. Peiris it is sufficient that the accused foresaw that this effect would be caused by the act which he resolves to commit . So long as the accused, with foresight of the consequences, has embarked on a particular course of conduct, it is immaterial to the issue of liability that the accused did not desire the consequences of his conduct. An objective attitude to intention is suggested by the principle that a man is deemed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his acts. However, a subjective approach to intention emerges unequivocally from the judgement Devasundara v Alahakoon .

In the recent House of Lords decision on intention, R v Woollin , it was held that the jury must decide whether the accused intended the consequences of his action if the consequence was a virtual certainty and the defendant recognized it as such.

In Westminster City Council v Croyagrange Ltd it was held that it was open to the tribunal of fact, when knowledge on the part of a defendant is required to be proved, to base a finding of knowledge on evidence that the Defendant had deliberately shut his eyes to the obvious or refrained from inquiry because he suspected the truth but did not want to have his suspicions confirmed.

Tags
Related Essays Law