The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Maharashtra has witnessed a rise of around 10 per cent in the number of corruption cases registered till December 25 this year as compared to the corresponding period in 2022. A cursory glance at the statistical records between January 1 and December 25, 2023 uploaded on the ACB website reveals that 801 cases have been registered so far as compared to 749 cases for the same duration in 2022.
This year the 801 cases include 784 traps, 12 disproportionate asset (DA) cases and five other graft related offences. The number of tainted persons caught in connection with trap cases in 2023 has gone up by 94 (from 1,002 to 1,096). As a routine pattern which is noticed almost every year, corrupt personnel from the revenue and police wings clinched the top two slots by inking three-digit numbers on the figures tally.
Revenue-land records in figures
Presently the revenue-land records wing is on the top with 194 traps and their counterparts in the police department are not far behind with their indulgence in 143 bribe cases. Seventy nine traps were reported against Panchayat Samiti members, followed by 47 and 49 cases related to the state electricity distribution company and municipal corporations respectively. Thirty six zilla parishad and even 30 staffers attached to the education wing are among others who landed into the ACB so far.
Amount of ₹4.59 crore collected from the raids
The amount seized during traps is pegged at more than ₹4.59 crore. The tainted government employees include 54 class I officers,131 class II officials, 587 and 50 class III and IV staffers respectively. This apart from 98 elected representatives and 176 middlemen who have been booked for graft by the ACB which has also blown the lid off 12 disproportionate assets cases and seized unaccounted wealth amounting more than ₹15.34 crore from 23 people.
Nashik tops the trap list
Among the eight zonal divisions, Nashik executed the highest number of traps (160) involving 232 accused this year, followed by 145 and 125 by Pune and Aurangabad. While the Thane, Amravati and Nanded divisions registered 103, 85 and 57 cases respectively; Mumbai reported just 35 trap cases. However, only 28 people involved in 21 cases have been convicted and fined a collective amount of ₹12.64 lakh till December 25, 2023.
To give easy access to people who intend to lodge complaints against corrupt practices and misuse of power, the ACB apart from facilitating an option of filing online complaints on its website acbmaharashtra.gov.in has also set up a toll-free helpline number 1064.