acb: Karnataka: Poor conviction rate takes sting out of ACB’s raids | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Raids and traps by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Karnataka Lokayukta over the past two decades have failed to prevent corruption in government offices as Wednesday’s raids by ACB sleuths on 15 officials has proved. Under-the-table deals have thrived.
A survey conducted by the Centre for Media Studies in 20 states some time ago, put Karnataka near the top of the list of states perceived to be corrupt. The finding was based on people’s experience of paying bribes for public services.
One big reason for the lack of fear among public servants is the low conviction rate. The huge backlog of trials in cases involving corruption hasn’t helped. Data from Karnataka Rashtra Samithi, which is fighting corruption in government offices since 2016, shows the ACB registered disproportionate assets cases against nearly 200 government staff, and bribery cases against 1,100 government employees. It has secured convictions in only six cases, raising questions about its ability to tackle graft in public offices.
On an average, the ACB conducts raids on more than two dozen government employees and files over 100 trap cases – where a person is caught red-handed while taking a bribe – a year. These operations are based on complaints of disproportionate assets. A senior ACB officer said most complaints are against officials in revenue, municipal and property registration departments since they have more contact with the public. However, ACB has failed to secure convictions even in cases where government staff were caught redhanded taking bribes. Conviction rates were much higher when cases were investigated by the Lokayukta before its police powers were split to create the bureau.
However, an ACB sleuth said conviction is not always about providing adequate evidence. “In cases where a government servant is to be prosecuted, we need sanction from the competent authority. For example, for a police constable, the Bengaluru police commissioner must give sanction, while in cases of senior officers it is the government. On most occasions, sanction, especially at the level of the government, is not given,” the senior IPS officer said.
BM Shiva Kumar, an RTI activist, said agencies like BBMP, BDA, RTO, taluk and sub-registrar offices appear to be dens of graft. “There seems to be no fear of law among shady babus in these offices. Bribe money quoted by officials indicate the rot in the service delivery mechanism of the state. There should be an independent ombudsman in every office,” he said.
Advertisement





Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *