Corrupt officials pay for bribes

BANGALORE: The ‘I paid a bribe’ initiative of Bangalore-based NGO Janaagraha is paying swift dividends. Taking the lead is the transport department which has not only contacted the organisation for details of bribes paid to transport officials but also sent show-cause notices to 20 senior officers.

Citizens have been enthusiastically sharing their experiences of paying bribes on the website initiative since it was launched on August 15, 2010. Till date, about 1,000 people have posted about how they paid bribes to government officials. Transport commissioner Bhaskar Rao requested Janaagraha to give him a list of complaints against his department, and issued show-cause notices to 20 seniors officers based on the location of the bribe paid.

Though the transport department doesn’t top the list of government offenders on, (that dubious honour goes to the stamps and registration department) there’s reason for worry. “The details about rampant corruption in my department are absolutely true. In the incidents narrated by people through this forum cumulatively amounts to Rs 1.43 lakh. It is shameful. We have details on who paid a bribe to whom. And 60% is about bribes paid to traffic cops,” Bhaskar Rao told TOI. “I cannot punish the official, but they must be cautioned. I have issued show-cause notices which should reach them in a day or two. Most cases happen while issuing driving licences as well as learners and international driving licences.

“We installed such a system that names of officials who demand bribes won’t be registered. That’s why we cannot pinpoint the officials,” said T R Raghunandan, programme co-ordinator of the anti-bribery initiative.

Driving schools include licence charges in the course fee and its used to bribe the official. This is must be curbed, and can be done by making the automated driving test mandatory, said Raghunandan.


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