CBI’s mobile campaign a hit | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CBI’s mobile campaign a hit

The CBI's initiative, requesting mobile users in Delhi and elsewhere in the country through SMSs, to lodge their complaints against officials who were accepting bribe, seems to have struck a chord with the layman, reports Abhishek Sharan.

delhi Updated: Nov 11, 2008 23:10 IST
Abhishek Sharan

The CentraL Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) two-month-old initiative, requesting mobile users in Delhi and elsewhere in the country through SMSs (Short Messaging Service), to lodge their complaints against officials who were accepting bribe, seems to have struck a chord with the layman.

In August, the CBI had roped in nine mobile service providers to deliver to their customers its offer to be part of a new participatory drive against bribe-takers. Accordingly, lakhs of mobile users had received SMSs containing a

terse one-liner: “If a Central/Delhi Govt./PSU/bank employee demands bribe for any official work in Delhi…please contact S.P., CBI at…”

The results, said CBI officials, have been ‘heartening’. The investigating agency has received around “500 complaints” through SMSs since this campaign began and 40 of them helped the agency in trapping alleged bribe takers.

“We processed these 500 complaints and they ultimately resulted in the CBI netting 40 bribe takers across the country, including two in Delhi. The ongoing initiative reflects the CBI Director’s priority of cracking down on corruption and of taking the public’s help to weed it out of the society,” CBI’s press information officer R.K. Gaur told HT.

The agency, which had put in place an internal mechanism to process the information it has received so far, had to discard many such complaints since they turned out to be ‘fake’ or ‘motivated’.

“Sometimes people use such an opportunity to settle scores with their foes, so we have to be careful in processing such complaints. But it is heartening that 40 of them resulted in us laying traps,” added Gaur.

Those netted in the traps included officials working in middle to senior levels working in state-owned enterprises and undertakings, and banks.

Almost all subscribers of mobile service providers –– Airtel, Vodafone, MTNL, BSNL, Tata Indicom, Reliance, Idea, Aircel, BPL — had received the CBI’s request to contact it to report on bribery demands.