The Comptroller and Auditor General of Indias 2013 report,tabled in the state Assembly this week,has revealed that theres a high rate of acquittals in cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Of the 867 cases disposed of by special courts between 2007 and 2011,284 or 33 per cent resulted in conviction and in 583 cases the accused persons were acquitted.
The report said that delay in trial caused by delay in granting sanction for prosecution resulted in accused persons getting the benefit of doubt. According to the report,by the end of March 2012,sanction for prosecution was awaited in 30 cases,including one which was pending for four years. The report said that complainants and witnesses turning hostile and public prosecutors not arguing efficiently were the other reasons for high rate of acquittals. According to the report,there was delay in clearance for prosecution through vigilance commission,particularly for Class-I and Class-II rank officers; these delays ranged from five to 428 days in filing chargesheets even after receiving required sanction for prosecution.
As of December 2011,there were 1,258 corruption cases pending trial with special judges the oldest being two cases registered way back in 1981.
According to the report,the ACB witnessed limited success in trap and decoy operations. During 2007-11,the ACB registered 1,236 complaints of trap and 171 complaints of decoy. However,only 906 cases or 73 per cent of trap and 36 cases or 21 per cent of decoy were carried out successfully.
The report criticised the state government for incomplete departmental proceedings. It said that 87 cases were more than one year old pending with the departments till February 2011,19 cases were five years old,and two cases more than 10 years old.