ACB files just two charge sheets in 1 year, gets no help from govt depts

After a year of its establishment, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has filed charge sheets in two trap cases.

The bureau claims it has achieved a record number of cases of traps and raids in the first five months this year, which is also more than the Lokayukta police record. The first two charge sheets were filed by the ACB in May this year. The charge sheets are: one against a village accountant in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada district who was trapped while accepting a bribe of Rs 6,500 and the other is against an assistant revenue officer of BBMP in Bengaluru who was trapped while accepting a bribe of Rs 20,000.

According to statistics, ACB has registered 112 trap cases, 12 cases of disproportionate assets (DA) and 22 other cases (court referred and petition complaints) till June 17, 2017. An official said that by the end of the year, the total number of cases in the ACB would cross 300. In 2015, Lokayukta police had registered 67 DA cases, 120 trap and 69 other cases.

Though the ACB has set a goal of speeding up investigations in all the cases under investigation, it doesn’t seem to be getting much help from government departments.

Various department heads are still sitting on requests sent by the ACB to register FIRs against public servants on petition complaint cases. According to the state government notification on forming the ACB, prior permission from the competent authority is a must before registering an FIR against any government servant. A source said that in 11 such cases, sanction to register FIRs is pending from various department heads.

These authorities include, Mines and Geology, Municipal Administration, Revenue, Department of Public Libraries, Zilla Panchayat, Cooperative Department and Urban Development Department.

These are in addition to pending requests for prosecution sanction orders (PSOs). The ACB has so far sent 16 requests seeking PSOs out which six have been cleared.

“Further, investigation in 16 more cases has been completed and soon files will be moved seeking PSOs. Among the trap cases registered by the ACB, 32 cases are against class A officers, while 50 are against class B officers. Similarly, a total of 19 DA cases have been registered against class A officers, while 11 cases were filed against class B officers. The accused in the trap cases include two corporators, one in Bengaluru and another in Tumakuru and nine gram panchayat members,” an official said.

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