According to the data on arrests made under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Punjab recorded the highest number with at least 350 individuals apprehended, compared to 306 arrests in Haryana and 67 in Himachal Pradesh in 2022.

Within one year, from 2021 to 2022, Haryana witnessed a significant increase of more than three times in the number of corruption cases filed in the state, as stated in a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report on Monday.

In 2021, only 79 cases were registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in the state, but this number jumped to 246 cases in the following year (2022). Although the figures are alarming, officials emphasized that the increased case registrations demonstrate the government’s commitment to effectively combat corruption.

During the same period, corruption cases also increased in neighboring Punjab, rising from 162 (in 2021) to 227 (in 2022), although this increase is comparatively marginal to Haryana. In another neighboring state, Himachal Pradesh, the number of such cases increased from 42 to 61 within one year (2021 to 2022).

Among Haryana’s 246 cases in 2022, 190 involved individuals caught red-handed accepting bribes, two were related to disproportionate assets, and seven were associated with criminal misconduct. In Punjab, there were only 65 cases of individuals arrested while taking bribes in one year, while 16 such cases occurred in Himachal Pradesh.

In 2022, officials in Haryana filed chargesheets in courts for 168 cases, while Punjab officials filed chargesheets for 117 cases. However, Punjab witnessed convictions in more cases (19) compared to Haryana (13) in 2022. Acquittals were also higher in Punjab (37) compared to 24 cases in Haryana in the same year. In 2022, Himachal Pradesh saw convictions in six cases and acquittals in 16 cases filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

As per the figures on arrests made under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Punjab topped the list with at least 350 individuals nabbed, compared to 306 arrests in Haryana and 67 in Himachal Pradesh in 2022.

In 2023, the Haryana government intensified its crackdown on corruption, with figures until August 2 indicating that the anti-corruption bureau registered at least 100 cases of individuals soliciting bribes and apprehended nearly 100 corrupt officials, including several Class I and II officers.

Officials stated that there is a revolving fund of Rs 1 crore to provide “trap money” for complainants, alleviating their concerns about arranging funds from their own pockets in such cases. An anti-corruption bureau official mentioned, “Funds are being regularly disbursed from this fund to the needy complainants.”

In October, Haryana witnessed the arrests of two IAS officers on consecutive days. On October 10, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Haryana arrested senior IAS officer Vijay Singh Dahiya, six months after he was booked in a corruption case. A day after Dahiya’s arrest, the ACB of Haryana apprehended a second IAS officer of the state, Jaibir Singh Arya, in a bribery case.

A section of IAS officers has raised questions about the functioning of the ACB in the state. In August, the ACB organized a felicitation function to recognize and honor individuals who played a proactive role in realizing the state government’s vision of a “corruption-free Haryana.”

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