(i) The Maharashtra State Anti-Corruption Bureau was constituted under the Government of Maharashtra, Home Department, Resolution No. ACB. 1857/C-3019-V, dated the 26th November 1957, with a view to eradicating the evil of bribery and corruption.
(ii) The Bureau has its Headquarters at Mumbai and functions under the overall control and supervision of the Director General, ACB, appointed by the Government under Government Resolution, Home Department, No. ACB. 1857/ C-3019-V, dated the 7th April, 1959. The Director who was earlier of the rank of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, was given the status of Head of the Department. The post was later upgraded to that of a Director General of Police. The Director General is independent of the state Director General of Police and functions directly under the administrative control of Government in the Home Department.
(iii) At the Headquarter, the Director General is assisted, among others, by following officers.
Two Additional Director General of Police.
Fifteen Officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police for the rural areas .
Five Deputy Directors, one each from
- the Public Works Department, of the rank of Executive Engineer
- the Forests Department, of the rank of Divisional Forest Officer and
- the Revenue Department, of the rank of Addl. Collector - the Slaes Tax Department, of the rank of Dy. Commr. - the Director of Accounts and Treasury, of the rank of Dy. Director and one Auditor from Co Operative Department
One Legal Adviser .
The officers on deputation from the PWD, Forest and Revenue Departments tender advice to the Bureau Officers in matter relating to their respective departments. All these officers are stationed in Mumbai.
(iv) There are eight Units / Ranges of this Bureau, with headquarters at Mumbai, Thane, Nasik, Pune, Amravati, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nanded. Except Mumbai, each of these units is in charge of an Superintendent of Police with the requisite subordinate staff attached to it. An officer of the rank of Addl. Commissioner of Police is in charge of the Mumbai unit of the Anti Corruption Bureau.
(v) A Deputy Superintendent of Police of this Bureau is stationed in each District, in the rural areas.
(vi) Addl. Director Generals of Police exercises general check over the work of these eight Units.
Corruption emerged as a malaise affecting public services during the Second World War and continued to spread its tentacles despite the best efforts of the administration. As the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption, appointed by the Government of India, observed in its report, published in March 1964 :
The rapid expansion of Governmental activities in new fields afforded to the unscrupulous elements in public service and public life unprecedented opportunities for acquiring wealth by dubious methods. To this must be added the unfortunate decline of the real income of various sections of the community and particularly that of the salaried classes, a large part of which is found in Government employment.
The assumption of new responsibilities by the Government has resulted in the multiplication of administrative process. Administrative power and discretion are vested at different levels of the executive, all the members of which are not endowed with the same level of understanding and strength of character.
While bribery has all along been an offence since the time the Indian Penal Code came to be enacted in 1860, the circumstances during the Second World War and thereafter compelled the Government of India to give serious consideration to the problem of corruption. This led to the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1947, which was later amended in 1988. The statement of Objects and Reasons of the original Bill stated :-
The scope for bribery and corruption of public servants had been enormously increased by war conditions and though the war is now over, opportunities for corrupt practices will remain for a considerable time to come. Contracts are being terminated ; large amounts of Government surplus stores are being disposed of ; there will, for some years, be shortages of various kinds requiring the imposition of controls; and extensive schemes of post-war reconstruction, involving the disbursement of very large sums of Government money, have been and are being elaborated. All these activities offer wide scope for corrupt practices and the seriousness of the evil and the possibility of its continuance or extension in the future are such as to justify immediate and drastic action to stamp it out.
Later, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, XL VI of 1952, was enacted to provide for speedy trial by Special Judges and to tighten up the procedure.
Even before the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the then Government of Bombay directed, in 1946, the constitution of the Anti-Corruption Branch in Greater Bombay as a distinct unit charged with the duty of taking up cases of bribery and corruption. In course of time, this grew into the present Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Maharashtra State.
The Anti Corruption Bureau symbolizes the importance attached by the state government to cleanliness in public life. ACB Maharashtra has been striving for and achieving excellent results in this regard.
The main Functions of the Bureau are :
To collect intelligence to detect cases of bribery and corruption falling within the purview of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and to investigate these offences.
To institute enquiries into complaints made by the members of the public or received from Government officials and from Lokayukta and Upa- Lokayuktas relating to bribery, corruption, criminal misconduct, embezzlement of Government money and other venal practices by public servants.
(ii) With the limited staff available to them, it is not possible for the officers of the Bureau to act as internal vigilance organization of all the departments. The responsibility of rooting out or curbing corruption is that of the Heads of the respective Departments and the Vigilance Officers appointed for this work in different Departments. The Bureau is expected to supplement these efforts. The Bureau will take up only those cases which cannot be investigated or enquired into by the officers of the Departments, especially when, the enquiry involves recording of statements of a large number of witnesses outside not belonging to the concerned department and collection of documents from Banks and other offices. The Bureau investigates such cases thoroughly and ensures that the corrupt officials are brought to book to set an example to others.
(iii) The expression public servant has been defined in section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and section 2 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Besides this, many enactments, both Central and State, provide that persons appointed, exercising powers or performing functions under them, shall be deemed to be public servants.
(iv) Police Officers attached to the Bureau are competent to investigate cases against all public servants, irrespective of the fact whether the public servant concerned is under the control of the Central Government or of the State Government or of a local or other authority. However, there is a separate agency (i.e. the Central Bureau of Investigation) to deal with cases against Central Government Servants. Hence, to avoid duplication of
work, the officers of the Bureau make enquiries and investigations into complaints only against servants of the State Government, of the statutory Corporations of Bodies set up and financed by the State Government, and of the Municipal Corporations, Nagar Parishads, Zilla Parishads and Panchayats in the state.
Circumstances under which Officers of the Bureau may undertake investigations into complaints against Central Government servants and the procedure to be followed in that behalf.
(i) It has been agreed under an administrative arrangement that the officers of the Bureau may take action against public servants under the control of the Central Government under the following circumstances :-
Where a trap is laid to catch a Central Government servant red- handed and there is no time to contact any representative of the Special Police Establishment Division of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the trap may be laid by an officer of the Bureau. Thereafter, the Special Police Establishment Division should be informed immediately and it should be decided, in consultation with that agency, whether further investigation
should be carried out and completed by the Bureau or by the Special Police Establishment Division.
Where there is a likelihood of destruction or suppression of evidence if immediate action is not taken, the Bureau takes steps to secure the evidence against the Central Government servants concerned and thereafter hands over the case to the CBI for further investigation.
(ii) The following procedure is followed in cases against Central Government servants investigated by the officers of the Bureau.
Cases in which sanction of the Central Government or a Central Government Department or an officer of the Central Government is necessary are referred to the Director, CBI, who then takes necessary steps to obtain the required sanction.
Cases which are considered fit only for taking departmental action are reported to the Government of India through the Director, CBI, who then communicates to the Bureau, in due course, the result of the action taken by the concerned department of the Central Government.
(i) All police officers working in the Bureau continue to be Police Officers and as such have powers vested in them under various Acts.
(ii) According to the Maharashtra Government Order Home Department, No. ACB. 3059-V, dated the 23rd October 1961, whenever any officer of and above the rank of a Police Sub-Inspector (Now Police Inspector) of the Anti-Corruption Bureau investigates, at any place in the State, any offence, he is deemed to be an officer-in-charge of the Police Station within the limits of which such place is situate. In view of this order, every Police officer of and above the rank of a Police Sub-Inspector (Now Police Inspector) of the Bureau can exercise all powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station while investigating any offence at any place in the State.
(iii)INVESTIGATION POWERS OF ACB OFFICERS
1) According to the Maharashtra Government order, Home Department No. ACB 3059-V, dated 23 October 1961, whenever any officer of and above the rank of police sub Inspector of Anti Corruption Bureau investigate at any place in the state , any offence he is deemed to be an officer in charge of police station within the limits of which such place is situate.
In view of this order, every police officer of and above the rank of police sub- inspector (Police Inspector one step ahead ) of the bureau can exercise all the powers of an officer in charge of police station while investigating any offence at any place in the state.
2) As per chapter II. Para 7(i). of Maharashtra state Anti Corruption manual of instructions 1968, the Anti Corruption Bureau has jurisdiction over the state of Maharashtra including greater Mumbai, and its officers exercises the powers and functions and have the privileges of police officer throughout the state, However for the purpose of administrative convenience, the bureau is divided in to eight units. Greater Mumbai unit, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati, Nagpur, Nanded.
3) Meaning of investigation :-
Investigation defined in section 2(h) of Cr.P.C. (code) Investigation includes all the proceedings under this code for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or by any person ( other than magistrate) who is authorised by a magistrate in this behalf.
4) Though generaly investigation is under taken on information received by a police officer, the receipt of information is not a condition precedent for investigation. Section 157 of Code prescribes the procedure in the matter of such an investigation which can be initiated either on information or otherwise. It is clear from the said provisions that an officer in charge of police station can start investigation either on information (FIR) or otherwise .
State of UP v/s Bhagwant Kishore. AIR 1964. S.C. 221 , 1964 (2) Cr. L. J. 140,142.
5) As per para. 6 (i) (ii) and 7 of ACB manual, ACB officers except Mumbai unit collects evidence prior to lodging FIR. In short they starts investigation and completes major portion of investigation even prior to registering F.I.R. Therefore ACB officer while collecting the evidence at any place in the state of Maharashtra is deemed to be an officer in charge of police station within the limits of which such place is situate.
6) Once ACB officer deemed to be an officer in charge of police station then as per section 154 of code, information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence can be given to an officer in charge of police station i.e before the ACB officer who collected evidence by way investigation. It is needless to say that offences under P.C. Act are cognizable offences i.e section 7, 10,11,13,15 etc.
7) Before whom F.I.R. to be given
If we read section 154 of code minutely we will come to know that every information relating to commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction and be read over to the informant and every such information whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid shall be signed by the person giving it and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Govt. may prescribe in this behalf. Please see sub section 2,3 of section 154 of code.
8) Powers of superior officers of police. Section 36. Cr.P.C.
Police officers superior in rank to an officer in charge of police station may exercise the same powers through out the local area to which they are appointed, as my be exercised by such officer within the limits of his station.
Thus it is crystal clear that, superior officer i.e.superintendent of police can also either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him.
9) Section 154 of code does not lay down that the information of a cognizable offence can only be given to an officer in charge of police station. An enquiry on complaint given to chief Minister, Who in turn sent it to the Additional Inspector General of police with superior in rank to officer in charge of police station and whose jurisdictional area is the whole of a state, is legal and valid.
i) R.P. Kapur v/s Sardar Pratap singh
AIR 1961 S.C. 1117
Section 154 Cr.P.C. does not say that, an information of a cognizable offence can only be made to an officer in charge of police station.
i) 1961 (2) Cr. L.J. 165, 161.
ii) R. P. Kapur v/s Sardar Pratap Singh,
AIR 1961 S.C. 1117
(i) The Anti-Corruption and Prohibition Intelligence Bureau has jurisdiction over the State of Maharashtra, including Greater Bombay, and its officers exercise the powers and functions and have the privileges of Police officers throughout the State. However, for the purpose of administrative convenience, the Bureau is divided into five Ranges and the staff attached to each of these Ranges functions in the areas as shown below :-
Greater Mumbai Unit ---- Greater Mumbai.
Thane Unit ---- Thane, Navi Mumbai, Palghar, Raigad-Alibaugh, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
Nashik Unit ---- Nashik, Dhule, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon and Nandurbar.
Pune Unit ---- Pune, Satara, Solapur, Kolhapur and Sangli.
Nagpur Unit ---- Nagpur, Bhandara, Wardha, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Gondia.
Aurangabad Unit ---- Aurangabad, Beed, Osmanabad and Jalna.
Nanded Unit ---- Nanded, Parbhani, Latur and Hingoli.
Amaravati Unit ---- Amaravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal and Washim.