The ACB in the last six months has logged 314 offences, of which 72 are against revenue department officials (three against class one officers, 6 class two and 62 class three). Against the police department, the ACB has registered 67 offences, of which four are against class one officers, 11 class two and 64 class three.
Also, 19 BMC officials have been caught red-handed while accepting bribes. ACB has also trapped 20 ZP, 29 panchayat Samiti, six forest departments, seven PWD and 13 education department officials. Maharashtra’s corruption chart is rocked by the revenue department and Police at the second on the list—comprising 44 government departments—prepared by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The ACB’s 314 cases of corruption registered in the last six months include 306 traps and six disproportionate assets cases. The total amount involved in the traps is Rs 14. 3 crores. One of the cases is of a Mumbai Police constable, Suresh Bamne, and his wife, who are accused of allegedly amassing assets worth Rs 12. 7 crores, which was over 1,500% more than his known sources of income.
RTI activist Anil Galgali said, “There are so many vacancies in the revenue department today that only one officer can handle more than one job. There is no transparency in this department and work is not done on time unless a Bribe is given. Those who are willing to work in the revenue department get positions by paying money.”
“A nexus has been created as the officers have been working for so many years breaking the rules on a single post. Needless to say, who is responsible for this? Everyone wants money, so bribery is on the rise,” added Galgali.
Similarly, Nitin Patankar, from the BMC’s P North ward office, has been booked for amassing Rs 38.3 lakhs, which was about 45% more than his known sources of income. Two ACB traps involved comparatively huge amounts. One was of sub-inspector Bharat Munde of NM Joshi Marg police station: he was caught by the ACB accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from a complainant to help him exclude his name in a rape case.
In March 2022 the ACB laid a trap and arrested deputy tehsildar of Bhiwandi division Vithal Gosavi, a tout Vijay Bhoir and a jeweller Laxman Singh Rajpurohit for accepting a bribe of Rs 6 lakh from a farmer whose land was acquired by the railways. ACB also seized 43 cheques valued at Rs 2. 3 crores from various banks. The cheques belonged to various farmers and were “advance bribes”. The ACB last week booked BJP MLA Narendra Mehta and his wife for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs 8. 25 crores.