BENGALURU: Thanks to the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) units across the State have enjoyed a relaxing week. It has arrested just one official in connection with corruption across the State since last Tuesday after the Prime Minister’s announcement.
The ACB, which began operations on April 1, had been receiving a litany of complaints during the last three months and has made 80 arrests so far.
“On an average, we used to receive four or five corruption cases each week. We received only one complaint from Ramanagara against a revenue official the past week. We laid a trap and arrested him,” said M A Saleem, Inspector General of Police (IGP) of ACB.
The revenue official had demanded Rs 10,000 as bribe. “The bribe had to be given only in the form of Rs 100 notes since Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes became illegal. The ACB team did not get any other tip-off,” Saleem added.
“The cash crunch all around was the reason that bribes were not paid this week,” the IGP said.
When asked if the demonetisation could play a crucial role in doing away with corruption, the IGP said, “I think this is a temporary phase. When things settle down and the new notes are in circulation, corrupt activities are likely to begin all over again.”
Bribe will take other forms soon
A former Lokayukta official said, “There will definitely be a lull in corruption for some time now as bribe-takers generally prefer the higher value notes. But it will take other forms in future, like a costly television, iPad, laptop, high-end mobile and so on.”
Concurring with the ACB chief, former Lokayukta and anti-corruption crusader Justice Santosh Hedge said, “Illegal activities will definitely stop temporarily. This is clearly a lean period for corruption.”
Neutralisation of hoarded black money is taking place presently and this is a big step that will improve the country’s economy, he added. “However, this is a transitory phase and things will settle down in some time. We need to wait and see the impact on corrupt activities then,” Justice Hegde cautioned.
RBI buys ink from Mysore factory
The city-based Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd is flooded with orders for indelible ink after the Centre decided to use it to mark the fingers of those who exchange old currency notes with legal tender.
A H Venkatesh, chairman, Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd, said on Tuesday that they supplied huge quantities of indelible ink (5 and 10 cc bottles) to RBI offices in Mysuru, Bengaluru and Delhi. Apart from this, he said many banks procured it by directly approaching them.
However, the chairman did not disclose the quantity of ink sold on Tuesday. He said the state-owned company is ready to meet any kind demand for the ink. They have enough stock to meet any emergencies, he said.