Pune: Setting a new paradigm in terms of corruption-related investigations, anti-corruption bureau (ACB) sleuths of the Pune Unit, have managed to arrest thirty percent of go-between people (all private persons) in connection with aiding corruption. The private persons have been found to have helped government officials in accepting large sums of money from victims.The Pune unit not only covers the entire city but also has jurisdiction spanning Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur. This year the ACB's Pune unit filed 87 cases in six months and have arrested 130 person for allegedly accepting bribe in which 30 people who walked up to give bribe were private persons. The legal framework insists on these baits being a government department.
As per the provision laid down under section 9 and 10, talks about a private person's involvement of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, speaks about taking gratification for exercise of personal influence with public servant which have punishment of three years minimum and can be extended to seven years.Some of the prominent cases detected include arrest of lawyer Surjit Kemtekar who allegedly accepted bribe amount of Rs 20,000 on behalf of charity commission inspector Jalinder Dandge from the complainant under the pretext of giving an order in his favour. In another case, a state excise department's sub-inspector Balashaheb Kadam along with agent Raju Warunj was arrested in Lonavala for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10,600 from a hotelier for liquor permit.
ACB's superintendent of police Sarang Awad said, "In 2013, we had nailed some five private persons, who had accepted the bribe amount but this year in six months we have nailed 30 such persons. Most of them are agents at the revenue department. In some cases they were also lawyers and Architects. During investigation, it has been revealed that such agents are also backed by some political party and have criminal past record. These agents share 20 per cent of total bribe amount along with 5 per cent petrol and telephone expenses. And agents work are done free by the officers. Apart from demanding and accepting the amount, they are one who mediate and also direct the people book ticket for traveling or make special arrangement for lodging."He added, "The officers are so clever that they use a third person's mobile number while interacting with a person, and keep such a private person assuming that they will not be arrested."A senior lawyer said a private person's involvement is used for making the case weak as it is difficult to prove the nexus between the officers and the agent.
The ACB officials have appeal people can lodge complaints by sending emails to the department or call 020 – 26122134 / 26132802 and on the toll free no.: 9420901900
This year in January, in Satara, the ACB had arrested an architect Rahul Bhokare for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 4 lakh cash on behalf of town planner Mohanrao Chandanshiv from a chairman of housing society for giving land documents in the society's name.
In June 9, 2014, a unique case in which the ACB arrested a father-son for allegedly accepting Rs 15,000 cash from Sinhagad road resident for enrolling his name in land record paper. Father Dattatray Rathod who was a talati and his son had collected the amount.