The Lokayukta police in Indore has notched up 46 trap cases in the first seven months and over 50% of them are the three 'Ps' of the administration - the patwari, police and panchayat secretary and sarpanch - the people who have maximum public dealings. In 2013, the Lokayukta had trapped 52 public officials.
According to Lokayukta police sources, in the first seven months, they have trapped 14 policemen of various ranks, seven patwaris and five panchayat secretaries and sarpanchs, while they were accepting bribe money. The bribe amount ranged from Rs 60,000 to as low as Rs 300 and, in most of the cases, the complainants were common people fed up with the demands of the corrupt officials.
Lokayukta SP Indore Virendra Singh said trap cases are on the rise because more and more people are coming forward with information about corruption. "Earlier, very few people came forward to lodge complaints, but over the years awareness about corruption has increased. Also, there is a belief among the public that if the complaint is genuine, the Lokayukta police would act against the guilty," SP Singh said.
Also, of late the time taken to decide trap cases in court has also come down considerably, giving more encouragement to the complainant. In most of the trap cases, the investigation is completed within one month and then the case is sent for prosecution sanction which is also given in most cases and Lokayukta file the challan in court. "The conviction rate in trap cases is also very high," SP Singh said.
Social activist Tapan Bhattacharya said it is not surprising that trap cases are on the rise. "For even the smallest of tasks, for which the officials are paid a salary by the government, the poor people have to pay a bribe to get it done. Even now, in most of the cases, the people prefer to pay a bribe to get their work done, otherwise the officials create hurdles, forcing them to come to the office again and again."
Trapped so far
Total trap cases: 46
Panchayat sarpanch secretary: 5