The Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested as many as 1,661 corrupt government officials and their mediators this year, a 117 per cent surge as compared to the previous year.
As per data compiled by the ACB, a total of 1,661 erring government officials and their “middlemen” were nabbed during 1,230 traps laid by the Bureau till December 26 this year.
Last year, as many as 764 corrupt public servants and their associates were held in 574 traps, ACB Director Pravin Dixit told.
The month of September witnessed the highest number of arrests at 213, a 230 per cent increase from the corresponding period last year when the number stood at 58. Whereas, October registered the lowest number of arrests at 102, only 10 per cent rise in comparison to the same period last year.
Like previous year, the maximum number of officials trapped by the Bureau was from the Revenue Department followed by Police Department, the ACB data revealed.
The departments which faced least number of complaints are the city’s transport wing BEST Undertaking, Charity Commission, Rural Development Department with one arrest in each trap in these departments.
A total 419 personnel from the Revenue Department were apprehended in 319 traps while 408 staff members from the Police Department were caught accepting bribe in 292 cases.
ACB Director Dixit said, “People are already agitated at corrupt practices at all levels and we have been basically successful in channelising their anger and convert it into successful traps.”
“The launch of Toll Free number – 1064 – has given a boost to our campaign… The toll free number, which can be dialled from landline as well as mobile phone, has been advertised in all the places and one can now reach us from anywhere,” he said, adding “the communication gap between the complainant and the ACB has been effectively reduced.”
“We are also the first ACB in the country to start posting photographs of the arrested accused on Facebook…,” the ACB Director added.
“Our sleuths are also visiting large gatherings to promote the facilities offered to the citizens by the ACB. This has resulted in boosting the morale of the complainant. We have also deployed our men at the places known for corrupt dealings to curb the menace,” Dixit said. “We are making all efforts to ensure that the amount a complainant is required to pay to bribe during our trap is refunded to them from the government treasury on top priority. The government has initiated special steps to refund the money without much delay,” he said.