Maharashtra stood first when it came to corruption cases in the year 2019, revealed the latest statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The state registered a total 891 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act and related sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) followed by Rajasthan (424), Tamil Nadu (418), Karnataka (379), Odisha (353). The states which registered no or fewer cases are Sikkim (0), Nagaland (1), Mizoram (2), Meghalaya (5), Manipur (6) and Goa (9). Under Union territories, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli registered zero cases while Delhi UT registered 18.
Maharashtra registered the highest number of corruption cases in 2017 (925 cases) and 2018 (936 cases). A total 4243 cases were registered across the country last year, a slight increase from 4062 cases in 2017 and 4129 cases in 2018. According to NCRB, due to non-receipt of data from Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal, data furnished from 2018 has been used.
Among the 891 cases registered in Maharashtra, 866 were trap cases in which a government servant or non-government individual is caught red-handed while accepting bribe. The other cases were 20 (disproportionate assets) and 5 (criminal misconduct) in the state.
Officials attribute the large number of cases as a result of registering crime. “We are proactive in trap cases registered in various government departments. Traditionally, the departments of revenue and police have been topping the list under corruption cases respectively,” said a senior IPS officer from the state anti-corruption bureau. “Whenever a complainant approaches, the complaint is noted and followed up. The complainant, after being confident about the functioning, passes on his experience to others and encourages filing cases.”
In 2020 till now, the Maharashtra ACB has registered 461 cases in which 636 persons have been arrested. The lockdown has, however, impacted the number of complainants that approached the anti-graft body. There were 68 cases registered in January, 72 in February, 58 in March, seven in April, 30 in May, 64 in June, 56 in July, 48 in August and 58 in September. “The impact of the virus would be observed across the states this year,” said the officer.