Mumbai: Maharashtra’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which is marred by a record low conviction rate, is now training its men to handle computerised proof and collection of forensic evidences to convince the court. A senior ACB officer told the Free Press Journal that at present the ‘conviction rate is 25 percent’ and sometimes it goes upto 30 percent in certain cases.
The officer believes that once the men are properly trained to collect and handle the technological evidences properly, the rate of conviction would go up. “The latest technologies are being used to lay traps and we ensure that no vital evidence is destroyed. All the cases are properly presented before the court. The cases are being closely monitored by DySP-level officer, who reviews the case properly. We don’t give up the case even if the charge sheet is filed in it. All the dates given by the court are attended by the concerned officer of ACB and date-to-date development is briefed to his superior,” a senior ACB officer told FPJ.
Closed-door deals, illicit finance, and patchy law enforcement exacerbate many forms of corruption in majority of departments including Revenue, Police, BMC, Forests, Hospital, Education, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), BEST, Nagar Parishad, Zilla Parishad, etc.
“The corruption issue is pervasive across government departments. The people, mostly poor, have to give bribes for public services in hospital, police, BMC, MIDC, etc. There is complaint box, dial 1064, whatsapp number, email address, twitter handle, etc for people to report corruption cases to us. These days the corrupt have become alert. They don’t get trapped so easily. So, once the complainant(s) report us, we teach them certain methods to lay a trap and catch the corrupt red-handed. Also, at the time of registering complaint we take extra care so that the complainant may not turn hostile during trial of the case. It is not possible for us to eradicate corruption and bribery cases completely sans their (complainant’s) cooperation,” the officer added. With the help of clinching evidences, the ACB succeeded in getting 50 corrupt people (of the aforementioned departments) convicted this year till date.