One year on, ACB yet to take off, file first chargesheet

Traps govt staff taking bribe in 146 cases; raids premises in 46 assets cases

Published: 14th March 2017 02:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2017 05:14 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

 BENGALURU: Established a year ago on March 14, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)’s main target was to create an impression of its own among people. How far has it succeeded in its mission? Express takes a look at the ACB’s performance in last one year.

Though the ACB trapped government employees accepting bribe in 146 cases and conducted raids on premises in 46 disproportionate assets cases, it has not been able to file chargesheet even in a single case.
The reasons are many.

File picture of ACB sleuths raiding the
residence of BBMP official Basavaraju in

A police official in ACB told Express that ACB raids began only in September 2016. It took almost six months to open an office and get the required manpower to make the bureau functional.

When the institution started functioning, many officials approached the High Court and got stay to the cases  against them. “Only last month, we resumed the investigation,” an official said.

Now, the institution is facing another challenge. They are finding it tough to get the voice samples relating to trap cases  tested. “Out of 100-odd trap cases, we receive reports from forensice science laboratory in hardly three-four cases. We also approached the central forensic science laboratory in Delhi but they are overburdened too. Law doesn’t allow us to get tests done from private labs,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

ACB sources said disproportionate cases (raid)require a lot of time as the investigating officials need to dig deep to unearth the wealth amassed by officials. It is tough to unearth the benami properties. 

“We also require prosecution sanction from the competent authorities to file chargesheet and the correspondence takes much time. Government, however, is responding positively by suspending the officials found guilty of amassing huge illegal wealth,” another ACB official said.

Over involvement of top officials like IAS, IPS officers and elected representatives in corruption, a senior ACB cop said that “we have cracked some big cases in 2017 like unearthing the huge wealth and benami properties owned by officials like BBMP Chief Engineer K T Nagaraju. We target all looters, irrespective of their posts or political affiliations. ACB wants people to think beyond Lokayukta police now.” 

Over confusion among people regarding filing of complaints against corruption, the official said: “This was due to pending cases with the Lokayukta police, following the stay given by theHC. Everything will be clear after the stay gets vacated.” 

“We are ready to take over pending cases with the manpower of police wing of Lokayukta,” the official added.

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