Hyderabad ACB arrests 185 in 98 corruption cases, DG says 'just tip of iceberg'

The ACB is receiving 25 to 30 complaints daily on average. It has a strength of about 300 personnel state-wide, half of what it requires, the DG said. 
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.Express Illustration

HYDERABAD : Over the past six months, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered as many as 98 cases and arrested at least 185 people, with the vast majority of them being government officials. But the agency’s Director General (DG) CV Anand believes that this is “just the tip of the iceberg”.

“Over the past several weeks, we have seen a huge number of complaints and are currently overwhelmed. But this is just the tip of the iceberg as at present, we have limited resources, including manpower,” Anand told TNIE, adding the agency has now got a free hand from the government to go all out against corruption.

The ACB is receiving 25 to 30 complaints daily on average. It has a strength of about 300 personnel state-wide, half of what it requires, the DG said. 

Have to hire vehicles for operations: ACB chief

“There is a shortage of staff and resources, such as the fact that we have to hire vehicles and use our own cars for an operation. A proposal to the government has been submitted to reboot the force and double its strength,” said the ACB chief.

About the transition in the bureau’s functioning over the past several months, Anand, who took charge in December 2023, explained, “In the beginning, we were not receiving many complaints, and a laid-back attitude prevailed among the staff. Only one out of the 10 traps used to be successful. Nobody was afraid of being caught by the ACB, which was not the case when I was serving as SP. People used to be scared of the agency. But we got a free hand from the government to go all out against corruption, changed the work attitude, and started responding to complaints frequently.”

Of the 98 cases, a maximum number of cases are registered against officials from police (14), GHMC (13), transport (14), Panchayat Raj & Rural Development (9), TG Transco and Genco (7).

Some of the prominent cases unearthed by the ACB recently include the alleged Rs 700 crore sheep scam and the case against ex-HMDA director Shiva Balakrishna for acquiring around disproportionate assets worth Rs 300 crore. Hyderabad CCS ACP Uma Maheshwar assets amounting to Rs 3.4 crore were also seized. Additionally, properties worth Rs 15 crore were found during raids at the residence of the Tribal Welfare Engineering department’s executive engineer, K Jaga Jyothi.

Recalling an incident, Anand said, “Many tahsildars have also been arrested for being caught in corrupt activities. In one such case, the activities of the tahsildar had become notorious to the extent that angry and frustrated villagers might have been forced to take some unlawful step against the person.”

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