Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Police department tops list of ACB traps, reveals RTI

Times of India‎‎‎‎‎: Nagpur: Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
Cops, who trusted to implement law and order, were booked in large numbers in 135 trap cases conducted by anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in 2016. Revenue department ranked second for corruption charges among the list of 28 government departments. TOI accessed a Right to Information (RTI) report, filed by senior RTI activist Abhay Kolarkar, which revealed 586 trap cases were registered from 2012 to 2016. The offences surged till 2015. However, the registration of cases has been declining.
Replying to the RTI queries, ACB stated that traps were laid against government officers from different departments, including police, revenue, agriculture, education, grampanchyat, forest, PWD and panchayat sameeti in last five years. Fifty-one cases had been registered under The Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 in 2012. ACB reported 72 cases by the end of 2013. However, the registration of the offences doubled in 2014 as 155 cases were lodged by ACB. Verifying the received complaints, ACB continued to trap corrupt officers who misused their post. In 2015, 173 offences were registered in the city.
Out of 135 cases registered till 2016, 38 were against police personnel, revealed the RTI data. The bribe amount recovered in all the cases was Rs15lakh. Out of these 38 cases, two were against class I officers and two against class II officers. The agency caught 40 police constables while accepting bribes. Four of the cases were against private sector employees who were booked for assisting the cops. Superintendent of ACB, Nagpur Unit, Sanjay Darade said, "We don't target officers of a particular department, especially police, but it depends on the number of complaints received and how many of them are actually proved."
Twenty-two revenue officers are facing corruption charges, including two higher ranking officers and 21 class III officers. Other than these, nine accused belong to the education department. Eight accused are from panchayat sameeti and other eight belong to grampanchayat.
However, it seemed the conviction rate has dropped in 2016. "Many witnesses turn hostile and some give contradictory statements in the court. All this which affects the conviction rate. In order to overcome these loop holes, we have appointed officials to monitor the cases during the hearing sessions," the SP said.