Social Aspects of Political Corruption: A Case Study of Nepal

By Ghimire, Dipesh Kumar | Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences, June 2017 | Go to article overview

Social Aspects of Political Corruption: A Case Study of Nepal


Ghimire, Dipesh Kumar, Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences


A Nepalese Perspective of Corruption

Corruption is found to be defined in a very narrow way in Nepal. The act of performing illegal activities due to the avarice, selfishness and wishes of people in power is taken as corruption. We find these kind of facts while studying the Acts and Regulations for preventing corruption and definitions given by the intellectuals.

Samkshypta Nepali Sabdasagar defines Corruption as "Bigreko wa kharab aacharan, duracharan, naitik patan hune, ghush khane, pakshapat garne, paye bhanda badhi adhikar chalaune aadi kharab kam, ghuskhori,, abaidh byabahar" (Sharmma, 2062 Vikram Samvat).

This dictionary is found to define corruption as the bad habits of people. Intellectuals have also defined corruption in the same way.

The abuse of rights given to one for fulfilling selfishness of own self is known as corruption. The abuse of power given to politicians of employees in an inappropriate and illegal way is known as corruption (Koirala, 2063 Vikram Samvat).

The Acts for preventing corruption in Nepal also define corruption as wrong activities arising due to the individual's greed and avarice. For investigating and case file against the people holding public positions for abuse of authority by committing corruption, the Interim Constitution of Nepal has provision for Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority. (1) This provision of Constitution also covers the corruption by people holding public position as individual's wrong activities. Similarly, if any government employee accepts money, gifts, other property, goods or services for fulfilling one's need in an illegal way, then this is called corruption. (2) Corruption Control Act, 2059 Vikram Samvat, has enlisted a long list of giver and receiver authorities. The entire list includes issues of giving and taking by people in power for their personal gain.

Similarly, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority Act 2048 Vikram Samvat has defined corruption as, if an individual holding public position abuses his authority knowingly or unknowingly or with negligence, then it is defined as corruption.

In general, Nepali definition has not been able to address multidimensional character of corruption. This has given limited and narrow definition of corruption saying that it is wrong activity between giver and receiver. The stimulating factors for corruption and stakeholders are totally neglected by the Nepalese law and act. Thus, a large group including the relatives, neighbors, other responsible authorities of party, colleagues and party cadres of people directly involved in corruption remains outside of it. This has not only delimited the understanding corruption in clear and solid way but also it excludes a large group of corrupt people from the realm of legal punishment.

Political Corruption: A Socially Constructed Issue Corruption

Corruption is omnipresent, spreading its wings to every corner of the world. It is like a disease that engulfs the cultural, political and economic fabric of society and paralyses the healthy functioning of vital organs. Transparency International defines it as "one of the greatest challenges of the contemporary world. It undermines good governance, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to the misallocation of resources, harms the private sector and private sector development and particularly hurts the poor." (3) It cannot be limited to bribery or economic issues, rather it covers wide range of problems ranging from malfunctioning and maladministration of public institutions to the moral aspects of human being.

Scholars have defined corruption in many ways. Amuwo (2005) and Obayelu (2007) explain corruption as the exploitation of public position, resources and power for private gain. Sen (1999) defines corruption or corrupt behaviour as "the violation of established rules for personal gains and profit." Ogundia (2009) identified corruption as "efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private gain at public expense; or a misuse of power for private benefit. …

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