ACB not interested in combatting corruption, says RTI activist

Data gathered by him reveals bureau has filed only five FIRs filed since 2015

Over the span of three-and-a-half years, the anti-corruption bureau’s (ACB) Mumbai unit filed only five first information reports (FIR) of the 11,322 complaints it received between January 2015 and May 2018. Of the total complaints, inquiries were conducted in 357 cases.

This information was gathered by activist Jeetendra Ghadge using the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

“The ACB, basically, takes up three kinds of cases — trap cases, corruption cases and disproportionate assets cases. This [the reply] clearly shows that the bureau is not interested in fighting corruption, they mainly focus on the trap cases where a person is caught red-handed accepting a bribe. In those cases too the conviction rate is very poor,” Mr. Ghadge said.

According to the information gathered, the ACB has secured conviction in only 18 cases in the period mentioned and received acquittals in 131 cases. Of these 131, it has filed an appeal in only 10 cases.

The inquiry also reveals that over the last three years, a total of 7,347 complaints were forwarded to other departments without any inquiry being conducted.

“According to the ACB, the government department concerned should take action. However, there exists a Bombay High Court order directing it to stop forwarding the complaints and to take action on its own. This is a clear violation of the court order and a contempt of court,” Mr. Ghadge said.

The applicant had also sought information about the elected representatives against whom the ACB has filed an FIR or initiated an open inquiry since January 2010 and the current status of these complaints.

The reply stated that only four elected representatives — Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj Bhujbal, Sameer Bhujbal and Kripashankar Singh — have cases against them. The inquiry against Mr. Singh was closed on June 25, 2012, while those against the Bhujbals are either pending in court or under investigation.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:40:33 AM |

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