SMS lands corrupt assessor in vigilance net

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Here’s the power of a single SMS, especially if it lands in the right inbox. Irked by a bribe-mongering corporation staffer, an RTI activist shot off a text message complaint to chief secretary Debendranath Sarangi.

To his surprise, the chief secretary acted within a few hours, and a vigilance inquiry is on. The ward office assessor, who demanded Rs 2,000 bribe to just check the tax arrears of a tiny property owned by a construction labourer, is likely to be suspended, if proved guilty.

“I just wanted to rake up the issue as most of the corporation and metro water offices fleece the public and also force them to run from pillar to post.

So, my SMS was just a tip-off. But the reaction to it and further action is amazing,” opined RTI activist Gopala Krishnan, who resides in K.K. Nagar.

By evening, the staff who demanded bribe at ward 138 (Kodambakkam south) was pulled up, and the corporation vigilance team also questioned me about it. “I thank the chief secretary for attending to my SMS, despite his hectic schedule,” the activist added.

A corporation official confirmed the incident to DC and said their commissioner D. Karthickeyan pulled up all the officials in charge of the division and the staff are now lining up before the vigilance team at Ripon Buildings. In a couple of days, the report will be submitted.

The preliminary investigation shows corrupt behaviour by the staff. But the inquiry has been intensified to check whether there is a corrupt network in the area. The issue has reached the top brass and suspension is likely, the official suggested.

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