Tahsildar offices turn into graft hubs in RTE admission season

Tahsildar offices turn into graft hubs in RTE admission season

Applications for certificates rejected if bribes are not paid

Tahsildar offices turn into graft hubs in RTE admission season

With school admissions under Right to Education (RTE) Act round the corner, tahsildar offices in the City are flooded with applications for caste and income certificates.

However, large-scale corruption is being reported while issuing these certificates, mainly in South, North and West zone tahsildar offices, in view of more number of schools.

In a complaint filed with the Upa Lokayukta, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Karnataka Education Wing has stated that Rs 600 to Rs 1,000 was being demanded as bribe per caste certificate and applications are rejected on flimsy grounds when money is not paid.

In South zone alone, around 5,000 applications for caste certificates are received every day from five hoblis.  AAP members said that the demand for bribe had come to light about a month ago during a sting operation.

“We had been trying to help children from low income groups to get admitted in schools under RTE. At the Nada Kacheri in Begur, the children and their parents were denied caste certificates.

When we visited the spot, touts were found sitting on the chairs of clerks and officials inside the office, demanding bribe. We recorded the demand and they took to their heels.

One of the touts left behind a bag, containing 80 caste certificates about to be issued and around 100 applications.

We approached the Electronics City police since we started getting threatening calls from some unknown local leaders. A case was registered at the Electronics City police station which is yet to be transferred to the Lokayukta police,” AAP member Prakash Babu said.

On probing further, it was found that the tahsildar office was used as the centre to reject the applications.

The complainant before the Upa Lokayukta Adarsh R Iyer, State working committee member of AAP, said that around 35 applications filed on behalf of the children from Gulbarga Colony in Jayanagar were rejected stating that none of the family members possessed a school certificate.

Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi visited the tahsildar south office on KG Road and found touts loitering around the office and applications being rejected without any valid reason.

“Based on the applications filed, the Revenue Inspector visited the houses and submitted the mahazar report stating that the children belonged to the caste stated by them in the applications.

However, at the tahsildar’s office, it was pending before case worker Narayanappa. He finally rejected the applications on the ground that the applications were not accompanied with school certificate of any of the family members of the child,” Justice Adi said.

 Upa Lokayukta seeks report

The Upa Lokayukta has directed the Secretary, Revenue Department and Deputy Commissioner  (Bengaluru Urban) to submit action taken report within two days as the last date to file application under RTE is February 19.

“During the inspection, I noticed that the lower staff at the tahsildar’s office have nexus with brokers, who appear to be collecting money from needy applicants. RTE is a constitutional right conferred particularly to the families who cannot afford to pay high fees.

Moreover, from each hobli a minimum of 1,000 applications are received every day. If the State government is really keen on getting the admissions for children under RTE, it must take effective steps to ensure that caste and income certificates are issued on proper scrutiny,” Justice Adi said.

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