Post unlocking, surge in anti-corruption cases in Maharashtra
Even as the anti-corruption cases in Maharashtra have gone down during the Covid-19 lockdown period, the tally has increased after reopening post July. This, according to officials, is a result of more and more people stepping out while the economic activity also slowly returning to normalcy.
During the month of April, when the state and centre imposed a stringent lockdown, a meagre seven cases were lodged compared to 58 in 2019. Similarly, in May 2020 as many as 30 cases were lodged and 43 arrests took place compared with 76 cases and 106 arrests last year.
In June 2020, when curbs were partially lifted, the total number of cases rose to 64 with 87 persons arrests by officials of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). This was followed by 56 cases in July including 78 arrests, 48 cases and 58 arrests in August and 32 cases along with 45 arrests in September till 17th.
The statistics reveal that the two lockdown months of April and May saw a reduction of 88 per cent and 61 per cent in Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases compared to the similar period in 2019. In June 2019, 80 cases were lodged with 103 arrests with 77 cases including 104 arrests in July, 55 cases and 79 arrests in August and 41 cases and 65 arrests in September last year.
From January 1 to September 17, the anti-corruption agency has lodged an aggregate of 435 cases and arrested 498 persons compared with 623 cases and 847 arrests in 2019. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said that the number of aggregate cases in the state in 2020 have gone down by an average of 30 per cent when compared to 2019.
Pune region was at the top of the list of eight ACB divisions between Jan 1 till Sept 17 with as many as 106 cases lodged across the division wherein 153 accused have been arrested. Following the Pune division is the Nagpur division with 71 cases while the third position is occupied by Nashik with 64 cases.
According to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) superintendent of police (Pune) Rajesh Bansode, with offices reopening and people stepping out in a large number, the tally has seen a rise.
“During Covid-19 lockdown, there was a less number of working staff everywhere including in the ACB office. So naturally, the cases came down,” said Bansode.
The officials arrested by the ACB have been attached to the government departments like revenue, municipal councils, revenue department, police, excise department, zilla parishad, sales tax, education department, prisons, forests and public health department. Besides, other lesser known government departments have also come under the anti-corruption radar of the agency.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has jurisdiction over entire Maharashtra including Mumbai, and its officers exercise the powers and functions and have the privileges of police officers throughout the state. However, for the purpose of administrative convenience, the bureau is divided into eight ranges
Greater Mumbai unit - Greater Mumbai
Thane unit - Thane, Navi Mumbai, Palghar, Raigad-Alibaugh, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg
Nashik unit - Nashik, Dhule, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon and Nandurbar
Pune unit - Pune, Satara, Solapur, Kolhapur and Sangli
Nagpur unit - Nagpur, Bhandara, Wardha, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Gondia
Aurangabad unit - Aurangabad, Beed, Osmanabad and Jalna
Nanded unit - Nanded, Parbhani, Latur and Hingoli
Amaravati unit -Amaravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal and Washim
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