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Powers to anti-corruption wing yielding results

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - After the Government�s decision to give powers to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to lay trap under the provisions of Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, as many as nine cases were registered against Government officers within this year and apart from one case, where five accused managed to obtain anticipatory bails, the other accused were put behind bars.

Meanwhile, the Directorate is also investigating into over 80 cases of disproportionate assets against Government officials, while more than a hundred regular inquiries are on and cases would be registered against the concerned officials if prima facie evidence is found against the officers concerned.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that only in November last year, the State Government gave the powers to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to lay trap to arrest officials involved in demanding and taking bribe, which is a major step towards checking rampant corruption in Government offices. �Trap cases are dreams for the investigating officers as the accused can be arrested immediately and the cases can be solved within a short span of time,� sources added.

Sources said that people, of late, have become aware of the importance of lodging complaint against the officials demanding bribe and on its part, the Directorate has also made efforts to make the people aware through social media, while a toll free number is also given for the convenience of the people. However, the complainants should come forward with genuine complaints with adequate proof and they should be discreet as there have been instances where the accused came to know of the complaints before the officials of the Directorate reached them to catch them red-handed, sources added.

Giving details of the major trap cases within this year, sources said that the recent arrest of Debeswar Talukdar, senior assistant of the office of the Commissioner of Transport was one of the most important of the cases as it unearthed a racket in the Department. Following a complaint that Talukdar demanded Rs 38,000 for issuing an assurance letter for road permit, officials of the Directorate laid a trap and arrested the person red-handed while accepting the bribe. An amount of more than Rs 7.09 lakh was recovered from his possession. Sources said that as around 50 such permits are issued on an average every day, one can easily assess the amount some persons in the Transport Commissioner�s Office was making with illegal activities.

The Directorate arrested ACF Mrigen Baruah on November 30 this year while accepting bribe in his office chamber for renewal of timber license, while in another high profile case, an ACS officer, Nandita Konwar was arrested while accepting bribe of Rs 12,000 in her office in Guwahati.

Sources said that so far this year, the Directorate managed to trap officers and employees of several Government departments, including two police officers, for demanding and accepting bribe. However, four officials, including enforcement inspectors, assistant enforcement inspectors and three others of the same department, managed to escape and obtain bail after the driver of the vehicle in which they were travelling was arrested. The police officers arrested by the Directorate this year include Indreswar Pathak, the then in-charge of Birubari Police Station and Shisir Bhatta, the then officer in-charge of the GRP Police Station, Guwahati.

Unfortunately, bribes are even demanded for dealing in proposals for PhD fellowship in the Education Department and in one such case, a junior administrative officer of the Higher Education Department was arrested.

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Powers to anti-corruption wing yielding results

GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - After the Government�s decision to give powers to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to lay trap under the provisions of Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, as many as nine cases were registered against Government officers within this year and apart from one case, where five accused managed to obtain anticipatory bails, the other accused were put behind bars.

Meanwhile, the Directorate is also investigating into over 80 cases of disproportionate assets against Government officials, while more than a hundred regular inquiries are on and cases would be registered against the concerned officials if prima facie evidence is found against the officers concerned.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that only in November last year, the State Government gave the powers to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to lay trap to arrest officials involved in demanding and taking bribe, which is a major step towards checking rampant corruption in Government offices. �Trap cases are dreams for the investigating officers as the accused can be arrested immediately and the cases can be solved within a short span of time,� sources added.

Sources said that people, of late, have become aware of the importance of lodging complaint against the officials demanding bribe and on its part, the Directorate has also made efforts to make the people aware through social media, while a toll free number is also given for the convenience of the people. However, the complainants should come forward with genuine complaints with adequate proof and they should be discreet as there have been instances where the accused came to know of the complaints before the officials of the Directorate reached them to catch them red-handed, sources added.

Giving details of the major trap cases within this year, sources said that the recent arrest of Debeswar Talukdar, senior assistant of the office of the Commissioner of Transport was one of the most important of the cases as it unearthed a racket in the Department. Following a complaint that Talukdar demanded Rs 38,000 for issuing an assurance letter for road permit, officials of the Directorate laid a trap and arrested the person red-handed while accepting the bribe. An amount of more than Rs 7.09 lakh was recovered from his possession. Sources said that as around 50 such permits are issued on an average every day, one can easily assess the amount some persons in the Transport Commissioner�s Office was making with illegal activities.

The Directorate arrested ACF Mrigen Baruah on November 30 this year while accepting bribe in his office chamber for renewal of timber license, while in another high profile case, an ACS officer, Nandita Konwar was arrested while accepting bribe of Rs 12,000 in her office in Guwahati.

Sources said that so far this year, the Directorate managed to trap officers and employees of several Government departments, including two police officers, for demanding and accepting bribe. However, four officials, including enforcement inspectors, assistant enforcement inspectors and three others of the same department, managed to escape and obtain bail after the driver of the vehicle in which they were travelling was arrested. The police officers arrested by the Directorate this year include Indreswar Pathak, the then in-charge of Birubari Police Station and Shisir Bhatta, the then officer in-charge of the GRP Police Station, Guwahati.

Unfortunately, bribes are even demanded for dealing in proposals for PhD fellowship in the Education Department and in one such case, a junior administrative officer of the Higher Education Department was arrested.