IN December 2005 India signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption (the Merida Convention), and the GOI has taken steps at both the policy and law enforcement level to limit corruption. Since 1964, India has had an independent statutory body, Central Vigilance Commission, which issues guidelines and conducts inquiries to address government corruption. The CVC reports to the President of India through the Parliament. Despite this, Transparency International’s Bribe Payers Index in 2008 ranked India as one of the five highest ranked countries where bribes had to be paid.
Although the Central Government provides guidance and support, India’s 28 states and seven union territories have the primary responsibility for maintaining law and order, and investigating such crimes as corruption. Corruption in police forces at all levels of government is pervasive, with officers frequently acting with impunity and rarely being held accountable for illegal actions. Officers found to have participated in such illegal activity as bribe solicitation were often simply transferred to a new post. While the law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, in practice many officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. This undermines the effectiveness of even the most elaborate control regimes for dangerous drugs. Neither the GOI nor any senior government official as a matter of policy encourages or facilitates drug trafficking.