Curbing crime: 200 inquiries opened by anti-corruption establishment

The ACE chief briefed the chief minister on the work his department has done and is planning to do

Our Correspondent August 30, 2015
Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Sindh may have been deemed the most corrupt province in the country, but its authorities do not seem be snoring anymore. Instead, they have initiated a strong crackdown against corrupt elements.

Within the span of two months, Sindh's anti-corruption establishment (ACE) claims to have opened more than 200 inquiries, registered 72 cases and arrested 52 civil servants on charges of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, revealed the ACE chief, Mumtaz Shah, during a briefing to the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Sunday.

He told the CM that the information sharing nexus between the federal and provincial anti-corruption units was strengthening.

So far, the provincial anti-corruption department has received more than 40 inquiries from the federal units, the ACE chief said, adding that a two-member committee was set up to scrutinise the cases.

According the ACE chief the nature of most of the cases pertained to the land, revenue and local government departments, as complaints were received of illegal, bogus and fraudulent allotments. The CM observed that it was a 'good omen' that the federal agencies had started expressing confidence in the ACE. He directed the ACE chief to take the matters being sent to him seriously.

Seventeen corruption cases were registered in Hyderabad, 14 in Karachi, 13 in Larkana and Sukkur, nine in Jamshoro, eight in Mirpurkhas and the rest in other parts of the province. The arrested suspects include key former and serving bureaucrats of different government institutions.

The ACE chief added that his department was looking into matters keenly and for that regular meetings were being held. The province, as of now, has three Anti-Corruption Committees, referred to as ACC-I, ACC-II and ACC-III.

The ACC-I is headed by the chief secretary and deals with matters of corruption allegations against officers of grade 17 till grade 20. The ACC-II is headed by a divisional commissioner and deals with matters relating to employees of grade 11 to 16. The rest are looked by the ACC-III under a deputy commissioner. The committees, with mutual consent of its members, weigh inquiries, check facts and decide what to take and what to decline.

Speaking of the ACC-I meetings held in August, the ACE chief told the CM that 100 inquiries were discussed in the two sittings, out of which 23 were approved for registration of cases, while 35 that had earlier been kept dormant due to lack of evidence were made active once again and 42 new cases were ordered to be investigated. About the ACC-II meetings, the ACE chief said that a record 328 cases relating to five districts of the province were decided in these two months.

The departments that have come under the strict vigilance of the anti-corruption unit are those of local government, education, health, irrigation, revenue and works and services.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2015. 


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