M A I N   N E W S

In Haryana, arrest of corrupt officials a hogwash
Sunit Dhawan/TNS

Gurgaon, January 5
A government official harasses a person for bribe. He approaches the state vigilance bureau (SVB), which forms a team that stealthily accompanies the complainant when he goes to the official to pay the bribe. The complainant then hands over the bribe money - sprinkled with a chemical powder - to the official. As soon as the accused accepts the notes, he is nabbed and made to wash hands.

A particular colour appears and in the common parlance it is said the official has been caught “red-handed.” However, what happens afterwards is a different story altogether.

An RTI query has revealed that arrest of corrupt officials in Haryana is merely a hogwash. Most government officials, who are caught “red-handed” on graft charges, eventually manage to get a clean chit.

As per the bureau figures, the vigilance department of the Ambala division registered as many 266 cases (from April I, 2000 to Nov 30, 2010) where officials from different government departments were caught taking bribe. However, of the total, 107 have been given a clean chit.

The situation was particularly alarming in Rohtak division, where 305 cases were registered but 202 officials managed to walk scot-free. As many as 363 cases were registered in the Gurgaon division. But there was no information on those who were later acquitted or punished.

In the Hisar division, 270 officials were booked but 164 were acquitted later.

“Most government officials being let off even after being caught red-handed and that too in the presence of a duty magistrate, vigilance officials and independent witnesses strongly indicates that there are some major loopholes in the law-enforcement process,” asserts Subhash, coordinator of the Haryana Suchna Adhikar Manch, which filed the RTI query.





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