Long before Delhi discovered Anna Hazare, the city had an anti-graft crusader in Chetan Sharma. Not ready to go along with the 'chalta hai' attitude, Sharma decided to take the system head on. And the way he tackled corruption was unique.
In 2002, armed with a handy-cam, Sharma a property-dealer started filming bootleggers near his house in West Delhi. In the months to come, he captured hundreds of policemen, traffic police personnel and officials of various public departments, taking bribes.
He began video-graphing instances of corruption in as many as 30 locations across the national capital. Along with officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office taking bribes, Sharma filmed many traffic police personnel harassing blue-line bus drivers — a common practice in those days.
With the video tapes and memory cards, he approached Delhi High Court. The Court ordered Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to conduct an investigation into the case.
In 2008, around 100 Delhi police personnel were suspended after being identified in the tapes.
A second round of sting operations led to the suspension of another 30 policemen.
To make sure that the corrupt officials are not let-off lightly, Sharma recently moved Delhi HC alleging that the respective departments were not carrying out investigations in these cases.
Indian Express reports that in his petition, Sharma has sought status reports from Delhi Police Commissioner, CVC and MHA.
Accepting Sharma’s plea, a bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said that the court and the petitioner must be informed about the status of investigations, and issued a notice to the authorities concerned,” says the report.
“This is a reasonable and legitimate prayer made by the petitioner,” the report quoted the bench as saying.
Delhi police and MCD have figured time and again in the list of the most corrupt departments in the national capital.
According to the number of cases filed by Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch (ACB), Delhi police tops the list of the most corrupt public office followed by the MCD.
Between 2007 and 2010, ACB filed 59 cases against Delhi police. There was followed by 27 cases against MCD officials.
A total of 300 state government officials were allegedly involved in corrupt activities in these three years.
In 2008, as many as 81 government officials were booked on corruption charges. This included 20 Delhi police personnel — from the rank of constable to inspector, 16 officials of MCD and 10 from the New Delhi Municipal Council.
In 2011, Delhi police’s vigilance unit dismissed 160 police personnel from duty on charges of corruption. These included 128 constables and four assistant inspectors.
The departmental enquiry cell of Delhi police received more than 1100 cases in 2011. The cell conducts departmental inquiry involving corruption against police personnel upto the rank of inspector. In this context, Chetan Sharma, is perhaps very right to press on for action.
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Updated Date: Jan 25, 2012 13:56:49 IST