India yet to ratify UN convention against corruption

NEW DELHI, April 11 (TNN): India stands out as one of the few countries in the world that have not acceded to the UN convention against corruption. This convention, which came into force in 2005, has 140 countries on its list. India, which regularly battles corruption of mammoth proportions, is not.
India signed the convention in 2005 but the UPA government, particularly the department of personnel and training (DoPT), has steadfastly refused to ratify it. Over the years, MEA (which is the nodal ministry for international treaties), has been pushing the government to ratify the convention. The official reason is that India has not yet brought its domestic laws in line with the international convention. But it’s been 6 years and there has been little interest by the government in making India less prone to corruption. India’s stand is particularly strange since many Indian diplomats helped to pilot the convention through the UN.
For instance, acceding to the convention could have made it easier for India to repatriate the billions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth that have been stashed overseas. Finance minister Pranab has found himself in complex negotiations with Leichtenstein, Switzerland and Germany to bring back stolen assets. Under the convention, asset recovery is a fundamental principle, Article 51 provides for the return of assets to countries of origin as a fundamental principle of this convention.
The convention requires signatories to put in place certain preventive measures – like enhanced transparency in funding election campaigns and political parties - which certainly in India is at the root of a lot of government corruption. Public servants would have to be subject to codes of conduct, requirements for financial and other disclosures and appropriate disciplinary measures. The convention criminalises not only basic corruption such as bribery and the embezzlement of public funds but also trading in influence and the concealment and laundering of the proceeds of corruption.