Stigma haunts: Police Deptt tops table as most corrupt in 2017, too

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Nagpur: The most corrupt stigma continues to disgrace Police Department as it topped the table as most corrupt department in Nagpur district in the year 2017. Revenue Department was not shy of following the police as it also continued with the ‘distinction’ of second most corrupt department. Ironically, these two departments had the dubious record in 2016 as well. Other entities finding place in the list of most corrupt include Agriculture, Education, Gram Panchayat, Forest, Public Works Department, Zilla Parishad, Nagpur Municipal Corporation, Labour, Panchayat Samiti and others.

The facts and figures were revealed by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in response to an RTI poser filed by activist Abhay Kolarkar.

The ACB informed that 22 cases of corruption were registered against the Police Department which are highest amongst all departments. Only the cases registered from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 were taken into account. Revenue Department came second with 14 cases registered against its babus. Interestingly, last year also, Kolarkar had sought such information and these two departments had stood first and second respectively in the corrupt list.

The RTI reply further revealed that the total amount seized in 110 traps laid by ACB stood at Rs 20.81 lakh. The ACB seized around Rs 3.53 lakh in 22 cases in which policemen were caught red-handed in bribe deals. In the 14 cases of Revenue Department, the amount seized is Rs 3.37 lakh. Curiously, the bribe money seized in 10 cases registered against Forest officials is much more than that found in the cases of police and revenue departments. The amount found with the forest officials when they were caught red-handed is Rs 3,85,800. Zilla Parishad too stood third with 10 cases amounting to Rs 1,04,300.

The ACB replied that about 110 traps were planned and 142 people were caught during the trap action. A total number of 104 cases of corruption are still pending and waiting for the action. However, the ACB expressed its inability to provide information regarding the number of cases pending since the past 10 years. The department replied that to gather such information it required to be analysed and go through certain stages. Citing the reason of procedural constraint ACB said that such information could not be provided. The department took cover on the same pretext when Kolarkar sought to know that how many people were arrested for corruption and how many were punished during January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017.

The RTI reply further informed that the departments like RTO, Cooperation, Finance, Irrigation, MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation), NIT (Nagpur Improvement Trust), Excise,Water Resource, Registration and Stamps have recorded zero number of cases.