ACB reg­is­ters 40 cases in 5 years, only one con­victed

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan [email protected]­dus­tan­

NAVI MUMBAI: Since its in­cep­tion in 2009, the Navi Mumbai’s anti- cor­rup­tion bureau ( ACB) has reg­is­tered 40 cases till Fe­bru­ary this year.

Of the 40 cases reg­is­tered, only one ac­cused ar­rested by them has been con­victed by the court till date.

Ac­cord­ing to data avail­able with the ACB, of the ac­cused tried in court, two were ac­quit­ted be­cause of lack of con­crete ev­i­dence to prove their in­volve­ment in the crime.

NO. OF PLAINTS GOES UP As far as statis­tics with the ACB are con­cerned, the num­ber of com­plaints has gone up sig­nif­i­cantly in the past one year.

Peo­ple have been com­ing for­ward with more and more com­plaints against cor­rupt gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the satel­lite city.

The ACB reg­is­tered around 21 cases in 2014 as op­posed to 11

cases reg­is­tered in 2013.

LOW CON­VIC­TION RATE In spite of the grow­ing num­ber of com­plaints, the con­vic­tion rate is very low.

Ac­cord­ing to Vivek Joshi, de puty su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice, ACB, Navi Mumbai, “The cases reg­is­tered by the anti- cor­rup­tion bureau are tried by the spe­cial courts and not by regular courts. The spe­cial courts do not have suf­fi­cient man­power, which de­lays the ju­di­cial pro­ce­dure.”

“How­ever, the sce­nario has im­proved in re­cent times,” added Joshi.

CHANG­ING PER­CEP­TIONS A cou­ple of years ago, peo­ple would hes­i­tate to come for­ward and reg­is­ter a com­plaint, said Joshi.

“Our branch in Navi Mumbai was set up i n 2009. But no case was reg­is­tered that year. Like­wise, we reg­is­tered only 1 case in 2010,” he said.

Joshi has at­trib­uted this chang­ing per­cep­tion to the in­creased aware­ness among the peo­ple about the need to reg­is­ter cor­rup­tion- re­lated plaints with the ACB.

“We have un­der­taken var­i­ous ini­tia­tives such as con­duct­ing meet­ings with res­i­dents and even per­form­ing street plays at public places to edu- cate the masses about cor­rup­tion cases and how one can deal with them,” said Joshi.

“Be­sides this, we reg­u­larly visit gover nment of f i ces,” added Joshi.

“Re­cently, we have also started a helpline 1064 for peo­ple to reg­is­ter their com­plaints,” said Joshi.

An­other ACB of­fi­cial on con­di­tion of anonymity said that con­fi­den­tial­ity has helped the ACB gain the con­fi­dence of the peo­ple.

“We don’t re­veal the names of the com­plainants, which gives the com­plainant the con­fi­dence to reg­is­ter a com­plaint with us. This has in turn re­sulted in more and more peo­ple want­ing to reg­is­ter com­plaints as they feel that they can safely get cases reg­is­tered against se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials,” said the ACB of­fi­cial.

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