Santhanam Committee

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 23, 2022, 12:14

In 1962, Lal Bahadur Sastri appointed Santhanam to preside over the committee on anti-corruption. The scope of the Santhanam Committee's work was the prevention and detection of misappropriation or maladministration in government departments.

Santhanam Committee was an anti-corruption committee that Lal Bahadur Sastri had appointed. The committee submitted its report in Jan 1963, and the report was known as the "Santhanam Committee Report." It was a landmark document in the history of the Indian anti-corruption movement.

Santhanam Committee Objective

As outlined by Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, the committee's objective was to prevent and detect misappropriation or maladministration in government departments. The following measures were to be undertaken by the government:

  1. Establishment of anti-corruption laws.
  2. Monitoring all files about procurement, construction, maintenance of public buildings, etc, for one year.
  3. Monitoring of files about loans and financial assistance to ensure that there is no private gain in such matters.
  4. Establishment of limits on private gains received by public servants in loans, other financial assistance from financial companies etc.
  5. The committee referred to the investigation of miscellaneous matters not covered by the above.

Key Recommendations of the Santhanam Committee

The committee noted that it had been unintentionally restricted in its inquiry by being given a very narrow charter. But despite this, from the material placed before it, some important general observations could undoubtedly be made regarding corruption in public life, to arrive at which some of these general observations were expressed as recommendations for implementing the new laws if necessary.

Tackling Corruption

The committee observed that corruption could be tackled not merely by strict enforcement of the law but by reforming it. The legal process should be speedy and straightforward regarding minor offences, and the punishment for major crimes should be severe enough to stop people from getting into such acts.

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Reform in Criminal Justice System

It was also important to adopt a speedy procedure to ensure that all corruption cases came up for trial within one year. The government should also provide all necessary facilities like appointing special judges, providing professional assistance in investigations and compilation of evidence, etc.

Increase in Penalties

The committee also suggested that the following penalties be included under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

  1. The limitation period for the prosecution of a case should be extended from two to five years.
  2. Any public servant who defrauded the government should also lose all emoluments and allowances to punish such offenders. The committee also recommended that the following provisions be incorporated into the Act as they could directly and significantly alter the incidence of corruption.
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Santhanam Committee Significance

The recommendations of the Santhanam Committee were significant in that they laid the foundation for the new set of laws dealing with corruption in India. The Santhanam Committee was an official committee appointed to report on corrupt practices, but the report itself was an essential document both within and without the Indian subcontinent.

The recommendations were also considered necessary within India because, by the recommendations, Lal Bahadur Shastri became Prime Minister while Kamla Nehru became External Affairs Minister. The recommendation led to special courts for dealing with cases involving corruption and establishing a Bureau for an investigation into miscellaneous matters referred to by the K Santhanam Committee.

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FAQs on Santhanam Committee

Q1. What is the significance of the Santhanam Committee Report?

The Santhanam Committee was appointed in 1962-63 by the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to recommend several measures to prevent and detect misappropriation or maladministration in government departments.

Q2. What is the role of the Santhanam Committee?

It was an anti-corruption committee that Lal Bahadur Sastri appointed in 1962. It submitted its report in Jan 1963, known as the 'Santhanam Committee Report.'

Q3. Name the recommendations for tackling corruption in the Santhanam Committee.

The following steps were recommended by the committee in its report to tackle corruption in the Santhanam Committee -

  1. Reform in the criminal justice system.
  2. Increase in penalties.
  3. The limitation period for the prosecution of a case should be extended from two to five years.
  4. Any public servant who defrauded the government should also lose all emoluments and allowances, as a punishment for such offenders.
  5. The committee also recommended some other provisions to prevent corruption in India.

Q4. Why has the Santhanam Committee Report become important?

The recommendations of the Santhanam Committee were significant in that they laid the foundation for the new set of laws dealing with corruption in India. Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed the committee to report on corrupt practices, but the report was an essential document both within and without the Indian subcontinent.