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At 203, Pune reports highest number of corruption cases in 2018

Nagpur comes at number two in the list, followed by Nashik and Aurangabad. Mumbai recorded the least number of cases

pune Updated: Dec 31, 2018 16:52 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Anti Corruption Bureau,Maharashtra
The city unit of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has recorded the highest number of cases in Maharashtra this year(Picture for representation purposes only)

The number of people who are raising their voice against corruption in government institutions is on the rise in Pune. The city unit of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has recorded the highest number of cases in Maharashtra this year. According to the annual statistics of ACB, of the total 926 cases recorded between January 1 and December 28 this year that were registered in Maharashtra, Pune recorded 203 cases.

The Pune anti-corruption bureau set its 200th trap of the year to catch a big fish on Saturday, taking the division ahead of others in the overall number of cases in 2018. The ACB sleuths arrested a tehsildar for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1 crore from a person to update his land records.

On Saturday, Sachin Mahadev Dongre, 43, a tehsildar of Mulshi region was arrested for demanding and accepting Rs 1 crore in bribe. Dongre, a resident of Lazy Rock Society in Bavdhan, had demanded a bribe from the 63-year-old complainant in order to submit a favourable report to the ministry in a case of registering heir to his property. The complainant approached the ACB and carried Rs 15 lakh in currency notes and the remaining amount was showcased in the form of a paper cut in the shape of currency notes.

Speaking about the issue, superintendent of ACB Pune, Sandeep Diwan said, “This is not an indicator of corruption rate, but people are trusting and approaching us. We have been following up on such cases and continuously taking awareness programmes. The main fear in the mind of complainants is that the concerned department will harass them but we want to ensure that they will not be harassed. We want to pursue this momentum.”

The ACB unit takes up initiatives to keep up the momentum including felicitation of the complainants who come forward. In the coming year, awareness initiatives, especially in rural areas and colleges will be taken up by the ACB.

“People don’t know the laws and rules. The law says one who is at the receiving end should come to us. So unless someone says that they are being forced to give bribe, ACB cannot assume anything,” Diwan added when asked about the feedback from awareness programmes.

Meanwhile, Prasad Hasabnis, additional superintendent of police, ACB, Pune had pointed out in June 2017, the number of cases reflects on the work done by the unit and not just the existence of corruption.

In one of the cases on Wednesday, ACB had arrested a lawyer for demanding and accepting Rs 1.75 crore from another person for tempering land records.

Meanwhile, ACB Maharashtra has Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad and Nanded in its jurisdiction. Of the total 926 cases recorded between January 1 and December 28 that were registered in Maharashtra, Pune recorded 203 cases during the year. The Mumbai division, with a maximum number of population and areas in its jurisdiction, recorded the lowest number of cases between January 1 and December 28 - a dismal 45. ACB Mumbai is headed by the additional commissioner of police Anant B Rokde. Pune was followed by Nagpur with 136 cases which were followed by Nashik with 122 and Aurangabad with 121 cases.

The number of trap cases - which are registered after complainants approach the ACB with complaints - is the maximum among the type of anticorruption investigation in every city. Pune ACB ended the year on a bad note after two cases where the demanded bribes were either Rs 1 crore or more.

In one of the cases, the Pune unit caught a lawyer for demanding and while accepting a bribe of Rs 1.70 crore from a man on Wednesday night. The accused have been identified as advocate Rohit Dattatray Shete, 29, the lawyer had made a demand of Rs 2 crore from the complainant. The demand was made nine times between November 22 and December 26, according to a statement issued by ACB. Shete was demanding money in exchange of a favourable result in a case related to power of attorney of a major piece of land.

First Published: Dec 31, 2018 16:50 IST