Section 171B of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!

Thus the second way of committing bribery is by accepting gratification. So bribery under this section is possible either by giving gratification as stated under the first part of the first clause or by accepting gratification as stated by the second part of the first clause. There is a proviso clause as well which clarifies that a declaration of public policy or a promise of public action shall not be an offence under this section.

According to the second clause of this section, a person who offers, or agrees to give, or offers or attempts to procure, a gratification shall be deemed to give a gratification. In other words, a gratification is deemed to have been given in any of the four cases, viz., where a person offers gratification, or where he agrees to give gratification, or where he offers to procure gratification, or where he attempts to procure gratification. The second clause, therefore, further explains ‘bribery by giving gratification’ which has been explained in clause (1) (i) of this section.

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The third clause of this section further explains ‘bribery by accepting gratification’ which has been explained in clause (1) (ii) of this section. According to the third clause, a person who obtains, or agrees to accept, or attempts to obtain a gratification shall be deemed to accept a gratification, and a person who accepts a gratification as a motive for doing something which he has no intention to do, or as a reward for doing something which he has not done, shall be deemed to have accepted the gratification as a reward.

In Deepuk Ganpatrao Salunke v. Government of Maharashtra,’ the Bombay High Court held that statements made by a member of ruling political alliance to a political party that if it supported the alliance in the parliamentary elections one member of that party would be made the Deputy Chief Minister, does not amount to giving offer to any individual with respect to exercising his electoral right in a particular manner and cannot be called as giving gratification under section 171-B of the Code.