Statistics show more policemen held by Anti-Corruption Bureau Pune unit for demanding bribes than officials from any other govt department; over 50 cops among 201 arrested in past three years.
A Scrutiny of bribery cases registered at the city unit of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has revealed that number of corruption cases against policemen topped the list. In the last three years, more than 50 police officers got arrested either for demanding bribe or for accepting it. This includes five Class I officers who were arrested for demanding and accepting bribe. The information collected from ACB shows that bribe was demanded either to avoid legal action against the accused or to expedite the investigations or sometimes even to delay action against accused.
Caught in the act: Police Inspector Maya Bankar of Shivajinagar police
station was arrested in September for accepting a bribe. File pic
Most recently, a case was registered against a retired assistant sub inspector and serving police naik of Shirur after they were caught red-handed for accepting bribe of Rs 20,000 to submit a favourable report to the court. Retired ASI Sakharam Abaji Dalvi and Police Naik Eknath Takuji Waje were arrested last Thursday. In September this year, the city unit of ACB arrested Police Inspector Maya Bankar of Shivajinagar police station and Police Constable Rajendra Raut for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a man against whom an inquiry was pending.
Sources said once the policemen are arrested for demanding or accepting bribery they are immediately suspended from service. In most cases, they are not taken back into service till the case is pending in court. If the person retires during this period then his pension, gratuity and other monetary benefits are stalled.
"These figures are deceptive. The police and revenue department have public interface where in people have to deal with these two departments on a daily basis," said Sarang Awad, Superintendent of Pune unit. Considering the staff strength in other government departments, these two have more employees. So when we say that certain number of people were arrested for demanding bribe, then we have to compare it with the total strength of that department. In case of other government departments such as RTO, education institutes, rationing offices, where we suspect the rate of corruption is high, no one comes forward to lodge a complaint, as paying money is mutually beneficial to them."
Former IPS officer Suresh Khopade said just because cases of bribery registered against policemen were more than those against officials attached to the revenue and public works department (PWD), it did not mean corruption in police department was more. "Other government departments are equally corrupt. As officers deputed in ACB are also policemen, they are familiar with the functioning of the police department and so, I believe, they are more successful in trapping policemen."
The number of police officials arrested for demanding bribe in the past three years
The city unit of ACB has jurisdiction in five districts namely, Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur.
Arrests in past 3 years
2009: Of the 71 arrested for corruption, 17 were policemen.
2010: Of the 68 arrested for corruption, 20 were policemen.
2011: Till date, 62 have been arrested for corruption, of which 17 are policemen.