Majority of corruption cases in 2012 saw acquittal

In 63 per cent of the corruption cases which went to trial last year, the people charged were eventually acquitted, reflecting weak investigations into such cases.

Investigators also failed to file charge sheets in around 69 per cent of the old and new corruption cases they probed last year.

According to official figures released recently, of the 1,947 cases in which trial was completed last year, investigators of the vigilance department and anti-corruption wings of states managed to get conviction in only 747. In 1,273 cases, the accused managed to get an acquittal.

Maharashtra had 497 cases in which trial was completed and got conviction only in 120. Punjab followed with 190 cases, of which only 82 were sent to jail. Karnataka was the third, with completion of trial in 186 cases but conviction only in 71.

“Police and vigilance departments in states are totally dependent on internal/departmental support which is selective as we know. Hence expecting justice from them is asking for an exception. They are deliberately kept weak and inadequate in all respects. Hence, all this is one big sham,” former IPS officer Kiran Bedi told Deccan Herald.

Unless policing in states is insulated from within and outside, expecting anything more is unrealistic, she said. A solution is possible and even cost-effective, but nobody wants it because power is in the hands of the corrupt, she added.

“State Lokayuktas, if independent, could have these state anti-corruption units report to them and not to the police. This will insulate them from political and bureaucratic interference which weakens their work,” Bedi said.

The statistics also showed that corruption cases registered by the vigilance department and anti-corruption wings of the states have shown a dip in 2012, from the previous year’s 3,613 to 3,531.

 However, only 2,196 of the 9,336 cases, from both 2012 and those pending before that, were charge-sheeted last year. In another 525 cases, final report was submitted.

Maharashtra (457) and Karnataka (445) led the states which filed the maximum number of charge sheets for cases filed in 2012 and prior to that respectively.

Rajasthan registered the highest number of 567 fresh cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2012 followed by Maharashtra (526) and Karnataka (426), besides held over cases from the previous year. A whopping 1,129 cases from Rajasthan were pending at the beginning of 2012 while Karnataka had 977 such cases.

There were 6,814 corruption cases pending which carried over to 2012, taking the total number of cases to 10,337 for investigation in 2012. Of this, 9,336 were investigated last year.
DH News Service

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