Corrupt government babus are having it tough. According to data by the anti-corruption bureau, 65% more Maharashtra officials were convicted for corruption in the first six months of this year, than in 2014.
The number of trap cases – government servants caught red-handed accepting a bribe themselves, or through proxy –went up by 8% from last year.
According to the statistics available with the ACB, till June 30 this year, a total of 612 trap cases were registered, in which 789 accused were arrested, including government servants and their agents. In 2014, in the first six months, 566 traps cases were registered with the ACB.
The anti-graft body also registered 28 cases of disproportionate assets or criminal misconduct.
“The state should be more stringent against the personnel caught red-handed accepting bribes,” said Pravin Dixit, director general of police, ACB. Dixit cited the example of Jammu and Kashmir, where 63 civil servants were sacked for involved in corruption cases.
ACB officials said if the government is serious about curbing corruption, it should do away with provisions that allow officials to drag cases against them for years. They also demanded the government scarp the need for taking its permission to act against babus. According to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the state should give the go-ahead to prosecute a government servant caught in corruption. Without prior sanction, the court cannot take cognisance of offences punishable under the Act.
“This needs to change. Why should we seek permission to prosecute a government servant caught accepting bribe? Let the court decided about the actions initiated,” said Dixit.
The traps revealed that corrupt officials target all sections of the society. The ACB received complaints from senior citizens (21), women (21), differently-abled (2), as well as members of the scheduled castes (31) and schedules tribes (17).
This year saw introduction of a mobile phone application, available at acbmaharashtra.net, using which citizens can file complaints within minutes of receiving a bribe demand. The ACB received 98 complaints through this application, including from remote locations of the state.
Most cases in revenue department: 191
177 - Police and home
111 - Rural development
42 - Urban development
35 - Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited
23 - Health
30 - Education department
22 - Forest department
11 - Cooperation and marketing department
7 - Irrigation department
All classes of officers
155 police officers
50 women government servants
(Till June 30 this year)