Qui tam enforcement as suggested by Nicholas Robinson is very Interesting and new and more importantly it makes government as a partner in fight against corruption with incentive for the citizen and whistle-blowers to come forward.
Qui tam enforcement, which has a long history in the US and the UK, was originally designed to fight corruption in contexts where prosecutors have limited resources or are distrusted. Despite its confusing latin name, the idea behind qui tam enforcement is simple, if somewhat counter-intuitive—allow those who know about corruption to profit from exposing and prosecuting it.
An example helps show how it works. Suppose that I am an accountant for a construction company. While going through the books I find proof that my company has been bribing a politician to win contracts to build roads in the state. As a result, the company has been overcharging the government crores of rupees for its work.
Under qui tam enforcement, I can bring a claim in court on behalf of the government against the company for corruption. If I win, and the judge orders the company to repay their ill-gotten gains, then I receive 25% of the judgement as a reward for my efforts while the other 75% is returned to the state.
Qui tam enforcement helps overcome two problems that presently hamper the prosecution of corruption in India. First, it allows whistleblowers or other informed citizens to prosecute corruption themselves, bypassing investigators and public prosecutors, who may be hamstrung by political considerations when deciding when to bring cases.
Second, it encourages whistleblowers to come forward. Currently, if I discover that my company is stealing money from the state I have little incentive to report it as exposing it provides me with few gains, but major risks, including losing my job, threats, or possibly worse.
The potential of a large monetary reward changes this calculus. It is difficult to overstate how important the information whistleblowers provide is to fighting corruption. Even governments with lots of resources to spend on investigations frequently find it difficult to bring winning corruption cases without insider information.
More about qui tam enforcement by Nick in Law and other things
- Although qui tam enforcement is initiated by a private citizen – usually a whistle blower – the government can join the suit. This is important because in the U.S. the government can cover many of the costs of the litigation (and investigation) if they join a suit. In fact, most successful qui tam suits are eventually joined by the government in the US.
- Although qui tam suits are for civil damages this does not preclude the government from bringing criminal charges against those implicated in a qui tam lawsuit.
- In the U.S. most federal qui tam enforcement is brought under the False Claims Act. Most U.S. states also have enabling legislation for qui tam enforcement. As a result, there have been many different models of qui tam enforcement that have been tried in the US. This might be of interest to Indian policymakers if they want to adapt qui tam enforcement and want to explore the different ways such a law might be written.
- In the U.S. not only may private citizens bring cases for qui tam enforcement, but also government entities. For example, if a city government discovers corruption being carried out against the state or federal government it can bring a qui tam suit and be similarly rewarded if it won.
Its time the government take some innovative steps to remove the corruption form India .Sources : Qui tam enforcement: A legal remedy for corruption .