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Lockdown breaks corruption cycle in State government offices

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on May 27, 2020

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Anti-graft body lays fewer ‘traps’, ‘catches’ lesser number of officials

The nationwide lockdown has slowed down the corruption cycle in government establishments in Maharashtra.

The data available on the State’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) website shows the agency had to lay just 87 traps to nab 128 officials during the three months of lockdown (March-May), compared to 200 traps and 263 officials during the same period last year. Traps, wherein an accused is nabbed red-handed while demanding or accepting bribe money, are arranged by department officials following complaints.

During the complete lockdown in April, the ACB laid seven traps compared to 58 traps last year, marking a drop of 88 per cent. In March and May, the ACB arranged 58 and 22 traps, respectively, compared to 78 (March) and 64 (May) traps last year. The majority of the government establishments were closed during the lockdown while others worked with reduced manpower.

From January to May this year, the State’s Revenue Department, including sub-registrars’ offices that register properties, tops the list with 55 cases, followed by the police department (44 cases). In 2019, too, these departments topped the chart in alleged corruption cases. This year, a total of 227 traps were planned by the ACB to nab 320 accused, involving a cost of ₹58,28,850.

The ACB collects intelligence to detect cases of bribery and corruption falling within the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and investigate these offences. It enquiries into complaints made by people or received from government officials and from the Lokayukta relating to bribery, corruption, criminal misconduct, embezzlement of government money and other ‘venal’ practices by public servants.

Published on May 27, 2020

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