Mumbai: During COVID-19 lockdown the anti-corruption cases in Maharashtra decline, however it has increased post-lockdown period that is July. It is a result of more and more people returning to their routine and economic activity getting back to normalcy.
Only seven cases were lodged in month of April (lockdown period) compared to 58 in 2019. Similarly, in May 2020 as many as 30 cases were lodged and 43 arrests took place compared to 76 cases and 106 arrests last year. Meanwhile, In June 2020, the total number of cases rose to 64 with 87 persons arrests by officials of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). This was followed by 56 cases in July including 78 arrests, 48 cases and 58 arrests in August and 32 cases along with 45 arrests in September till 17th.
According to the statistics, the two lockdown months of April and May saw a reduction of 88 per cent and 61 per cent in Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases while June onwards that is post unlock period.
The anti-corruption agency has lodged an aggregate of 435 cases and arrested 498 persons compared with 623 cases and 847 arrests from January 1 to September 17, 2019. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said that the number of aggregate cases in the state in 2020 have gone down by an average of 30 % when compared to 2019.
Pune region was at the top of the list of eight ACB divisions between Jan 1 till Sept 17 with as many as 106 cases lodged across the division whereas 153 accused have been arrested. Following the Pune division is the Nagpur division has 71 cases while the third position is occupied by Nashik with 64 cases.
According to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) superintendent of police (Pune) Rajesh Bansode, with offices reopening and people stepping out in a large number, the tally has seen a rise.
Bansode added, ‘During Covid-19 lockdown, there was a less number of working staff everywhere including in the ACB office. So naturally, the cases have risen’
The officials arrested by the ACB have been attached to the government departments like revenue, municipal councils, revenue department, police, excise department, zilla parishad, sales tax, education department, prisons, forests and public health department. Besides, other lesser known government departments have also come under the anti-corruption radar of the agency.