India anti-bribe helpline gets huge response

Nearly 4,000 complaints booked on first day of setting up of helpline to report corrupt government officials.

    India anti-bribe helpline gets huge response
    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had made his poll plank to provide honesty and transparency in public offices [EPA]

    Thousands of complaints were booked on the first day of setting up of an anti-corruption helpline by the newly elected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

    Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party or AAP won on anti-corruption plank, said that the first day had seen "overwhelming response" from citizens.

    A government statement said that on the first day 3,904 complaints were booked on the helpline and 824 cases were found worth investigation. Of these, 53 complaints "pertain to serious nature" and pertain to "cognizable offences".

    To prove the truth behind their accusations, the chief minister had asked citizens to use "sting operations" using audio or video devices to record evidence of government officials demanding bribes.

    Among the 53 serious complaints, “38 agreed to do sting operation, and the rest 15 not ready for sting”, he said.

    "In Delhi, people have already turned into excellent anti-corruption inspectors," he told reporters on the quality of video evidence submitted.

    The evidence from the sting operations will be examined by the anti-corruption units and the chief minister promised that such cases will be meted speedy justice "within 24 hours".

    Transparency promise

    The chief minister had made his poll plank to provide honesty and transparency in public offices.

    Delivering his promise a helpline was installed in Delhi on Thursday to receive complaints of bribe or corrupt malpractices from citizens.

    The helpline will function from 8am-3pm local time and is manned by a desk of 10 to 15 officials. Going by the response the government will increase the numbers from 30 to 60 to receive calls on Friday.

    The chief minister refused to share information of which government departments had received maximum calls of corruption and the location of the call centre to maintain secrecy and protect the officials.

    "We want to maintain the integrity of the call centre and not disclose its location," he said.

    Kejriwal said that his ministers will listen to grievances of the public on every Saturday in front of Delhi Secretariat.

    "We want to establish a system of administration that is responsive towards the feelings, problems and suffering of the people," said Kejriwal.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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