Hyderabad: Though not widely known, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) had launched a toll-free number 1064 in 2014 to receive complaints from those who choose to conceal their identity while lodging a complaint against corruption of government staff.
Four years later, this toll-free number has turned out to be the prime platform from where the ACB receives 90 per cent of its leads, especially in ‘trap’ cases (where government servants are caught red-handed accepting bribes).
The initiative also encouraged complainants to approach the ACB as their identity would not be revealed. Complainants were required to provide documents to back their claims of corruption, including ill-gotten assets in form of property and cash. When this correspondent called 1064, the officer did not question the identity of the caller, and took down the complaint and forwarded it to the district joint director.
Earlier, the process needed the complainant to lodge a written complaint with the district ACB officer, which kept many away. “The ACB is only concerned with the name, department and district of the officer against whom the complaint is lodged; the caller’s identity is kept a secret. The details provided are forwarded to the district joint director, ACB, and scrutinised through investigation. The ACB also checks on the character of the officer through departmental sources before carrying out a raid. In the entire process, the source of the complaint is concealed,” said an ACB officer.
The ACB has been able to book a number of trap cases received through the toll-free number, especially in public services like GHMC, transport, revenue, metro water board, where the common man most often comes up against corrupt officers.
ACB director-general J. Purnachandra Rao said that the ACB has developed a process called PPP, in which it is identifying the Place, Process (delivery system) and Person, for identifying the area prone to corruption. “This has helped in both disproportionate assets and trap cases.” Mr Purhanchandra Rao said.
“The ACB has been incorporating and adopting good practices from the CBI, Central Vigilance Commission and other state, national and international institutions. The ACB has also started coordinating among Vigilance officials of various government departments, Enforcement department and with the relevant Central government departments,”Mr Purhanchandra added.