The city police topped the list of most corrupt government offices in the city in 2010.Statistics compiled by the Anti-corruption bureau (ACB), which are a pointer to corruption levels in public offices, show that the Mumbai police had 16 cases of bribery, in which officials were caught red-handed, against its officers in 2010.
Second on the list is the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with 15 cases registered against its officials.
Although the number of cases against the Mumbai police was higher, the number of officials involved in cases of bribery was higher for the BMC.
While 21 policemen were caught while accepting bribes, the figure for BMC employees was 24. In 2009, 18 policemen were trapped while accepting bribes, while the number of BMC officials was 16.
“It is wrong to assume on the basis of statistics that the Mumbai police or the BMC are the most corrupt offices in the city,” said Niket Kaushik, deputy inspector general of police (DIG), ACB. “Since both the offices are the largest employers in the city, even if a fraction of the strength is caught in the ACB’s net, it will appear big.”
The ACB’s statistics for 2008, 2009 and 2010 show an increase in the number of people caught in graft cases. While in 2008, 69 government officials were caught accepting bribes, the number increased to 79 in 2009. In 2010, it showed a significant increase with 84 officials caught.
“The trend would mean two things. More and more people are coming forward to lodge complaints against corrupt officials and also the success of the traps laid by the ACB,” Kaushik said.
The last year saw two big arrests by the ACB. First, was the arrest of a senior member of the civic high-rise committee, Shailesh Mahimtura on bribery charges. The second was the arrest of Anil Himmatrao Shingane, an assistant charity commissioner, who is a judicial officer, on the last day of the year, for taking bribe.