The police and revenue departments again top the list of the number of cases registered against its personnel by the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) this year.
Till September,the ACB has registered 911 cases in its eight ranges. A total of Rs 19.85 crore was seized in 15 cases of disproportionate assets and Rs 1.4 crore in 414 traps laid,leading to the arrest of 572 people.
According to the data issued by the bureau,of the 414 cases,108 were registered against police personnel and 104 against officials of the revenue department. Class three officers constitute a major portion of the arrests made by the ACB this year.
Of the 172 police personnel arrested this year,142 were class three officers and constables. Of the 133 arrests made in the revenue department,101 were class three officers. As many as 36 constables posted at Nehru Nagar police station were suspended by the Mumbai police in April after Kurla residents filmed them while allegedly demanding bribes to allow repairs to be made to dilapidated buildings.
The ACB recovered Rs 81 lakh from the police in 2013,while Rs 13 lakh was seized from the revenue department.
In 2012,the police department topped the number of arrests made in traps laid,ACB officials said.
Of the Rs 19 crore seized in the disproportionate assets case owing to the arrest of Nashik-based Executive Engineer Satish Chikhlikar and his colleague,section officer Jagdish Wagh,in May,Rs 17 crore was from the Public Works Department. Both were held for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 22,000 from a contractor to clear a road project.
Despite cases being heard in a special court,for the ACB,the conviction rate for corruption cases is 21 per cent. The state government has appointed special judges in 77 towns located in each of the ACBs eight administrative districts. Of the 310 cases disposed of by the ACB in 2013,the accused were convicted in 64 cases. Nashik and Mumbai have the worst conviction rates at 11 and 16 per cent,respectively.
The special courts are also found to have a backlog dating back to 1986. Till September 2013,2,273 cases remain to be decided by the courts.
The ACB is awaiting a sanction from the state government to prosecute six officers against whom FIRs were lodged in 2011,2012 and 2013. In five of these cases,the ACB awaits the go-ahead of the home department. The forest department has to grant sanction to prosecute in the sixth case. The home department is the nodal department to grant sanction for prosecution,but it can also be granted by the department to which the accused belong. Some departments withhold their sanction for months,but after the high court made it mandatory for it to be granted within three months,I do not think we will have to wait, said ACB Director General Praveen Dixit.
In Police Net
* Of the 172 police personnel arrested this year,142 were class three officers and constables.
* Of the 133 arrests made in the revenue department,101were class three officers.
* The ACB recovered Rs 81 lakh from the police in 2013,while Rs 13 lakh was seized from the revenue dept