Srinagar: Acting tough against corruption, the Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has caught 136 government officials red-handed while accepting bribes in the last three years in the Union Territory.
Srinagar district had the highest number of government employees caught red-handed in the last three years. Trap cases in the Srinagar district are higher.
According to official information acquired by Greater Kashmir through RTI, 51 officials were detained while receiving a bribe by Police Station ACB Srinagar, 13 by Police Station Jammu, 11 by Police Station ACB Central Jammu, six by Police Station ACB Rajouri, 1 by Police Station ACB Udhampur, 29 by Police Station ACB Baramulla, and 25 by Police Station ACB Anantnag since 2019.
According to official numbers, 1600 corruption cases have been reported by the Vigilance Department, which was later renamed the Anti-Corruption Bureau through 2022. Furthermore, official data shows that 1001 instances out of 1600 have been charge-sheeted.
According to officials, ACB has been able to unearth numerous high-profile cases, and specialists from the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Intelligence have been assigned to ACB.
“Currently, three personnel from central agencies are deputed in ACB, two from ED and one from CBI.”
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 Anti-Corruption Bureau was renamed the Vigilance Organization in October 2018 as a result of SRO 486 of 2018.
Currently, the ACB is in charge of eight police stations: three in Kashmir, four in the Jammu division, and one central station that has jurisdiction over all of J&K.
Recall that on March 31, 2020, the Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act, 2011, was completely repealed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020.