BREAKING NORMS | ACB cracks down on corrupt officials

Image for representational purpose only
Image for representational purpose onlyFile

Srinagar: Breaking the norms of the past, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, in a first, registered 112 cases against government officials for their involvement in embezzlements, disproportionate assets, and accepting bribes.

Official sources in the ACB said that the anti-graft agency registered 38 cases against government officials at its Police Station in Srinagar.

“All cases were registered after carrying out the preliminary inquiry,” they said. “Some of the officials were caught red-handed while accepting bribes. In-depth investigations are being carried out in these cases so that detailed charge sheets are submitted in the respective courts.”

Giving the breakup, officials said 38 cases were registered for demanding and accepting bribes by government officials.

“Cases were registered against officials for disproportionate assets, misuse of official position, and embezzlement of funds,” they said. “Organised traps were laid to arrest the corrupt officials.”

The official sources said that 27 corruption cases had been registered at Police Station ACB, Baramulla while 16 corruption cases had been registered at Police Station ACB, Anantnag.

According to the details, with only one case, Police Station ACB Rajouri had recorded the lowest number of corruption cases followed by Police Station ACB, Udhampur where only three such cases had been registered.

The data provided by the ACB reveals that 19 cases of corruption had been reported from the Jammu division.

Among these 19 cases, 11 were registered by ACB Jammu including Samba and Kathua followed by five by ACB Doda (Doda, Ramban, and Kishtwar), and two in Udhampur (Udhampur and Reasi), and one in Rajouri (Poonch, Rajouri).

The ACB has arrested and registered cases against different officials including top officials from Kashmir.

Previously, 16 top Revenue Department officials including Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars, and Patwaris had fallen into the ACB net in 2022 while most of them had been trapped while accepting a bribe.

A first-class executive magistrate (Tehsildar) was apprehended along with his clerk while demanding and accepting a bribe.

The ACB had also trapped top engineers and revenue officials.

The data reveals that more and more officials and government employees resort to malpractices, devising ways and means to earn quick bucks.

Top officials in the ACB said that many complaints were referred to the Departmental Vigilance Officers (DVOs) for conducting the verification.

“The report of DVOs is analysed in the ACB to initiate appropriate action,” they said. “The institution of DVOs was formally established after an order of the General Administration Department. It is a step forward towards utilising officers in the field within the concerned department to provide a helping hand to curb corrupt practices.”

The ACB officials said that unless an internal anti-graft system in government departments improves, it would be difficult to achieve the objective of corruption-free administration.

“Regarding the internal anti-graft system, the institution of DVOs has attained great relevance in recent times,” top ACB officials said. “DVOs due to their proximity have better insight and appreciation into the working of a department. The DVOs can act as a nodal agency for strengthening the internal anti-graft system.”

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