ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau] trapped 508 officials in 4 months in Mumbai, India
City Police Chief, State Dept Heads List Action Plan To Curb Graft, reports the Times of India
Prafulla Marpakwar TNN 14th May 2014
Mumbai: A deputy collector, a public works [PWD] Executive Engineer, a senior Police Inspector, and a Principal of a leading college were among the 508 public servants trapped by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in 375 graft cases in the first four months of 2014. Significantly, in the entire last year, the ACB had arrested 281 erring officials in 216 cases.
According to ACB records, the highest number of erring officials caught this year was from the state home department (87), followed by the revenue department (79), municipal corporations (25), state electricity distribution company (16) and land records (11). More shocking was the fact that a few senior Police Inspectors were caught taking bribes in police stations itself.
Figure 1 Now you can curb corruption easily
Admitting that the data was worrying, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said he was determined to end the menace. “I had a meeting with all deputy, additional and joint police commissioners, and have drafted a comprehensive action plan to take on the erring officials. The results will be visible in a time-bound period,” he said. “We have prepared a list of the erring officers. We will counsel them and take action against them. But if there is no improvement, we ourselves will submit the list to the ACB for further action.”
Maria said all deputy, additional and joint police commissioners have also been asked to personally monitor sensitive cases, where there is scope for corruption. “In cases where an officer can use his discretion on whether or not to arrest the accused, there is scope for corruption. We will monitor all such cases,” Maria said.
An IPS official said that owing to the proactive role played by the ACB, led by IPS officer Praveen Dixit, there was “alertness in all walks of life”. “Social activists are knocking at the doors of the ACB and the results are visible,” he said.
Additional chief secretary (revenue) Swadhin Kshatriya said even the revenue department has drafted a strategy to curb corruption. “We have worked out an action plan to provide a corruption-free administration,” he said, adding that more emphasis is being given on maximum utilization of information technology. “All services will be available online, as a result, there will be less scope for corruption.”
Kshatriya said as there was scope for irregularities in land records, they have been completely digitized. “We have simplified rules and set a time bound disposal for all pending revenue cases. We are set to bring e-governance at all levels.”
Food and Drug Administration commissioner Mahesh Zagade said they have taken measures to reduce corruption at all levels. “Our entire administration has been digitized and all services are available online. We are implementing all the legislation in letter and spirit, as a result, there is less scope for lower-level officials to indulge in illegal activities,” he said, adding that if citizens stop giving bribes, corruption will automatically end.