With school admissions under Right to Education (RTE) Act round the corner, tahsildar offices in the City are flooded with applications for caste and income certificates.
However, large-scale corruption is being reported while issuing these certificates, mainly in South, North and West zone tahsildar offices, in view of more number of schools.
In a complaint filed with the Upa Lokayukta, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Karnataka Education Wing has stated that Rs 600 to Rs 1,000 was being demanded as bribe per caste certificate and applications werebeing rejected on flimsy grounds for not paying bribe. In South zone alone, around 5,000 applications for caste certificates are received every day from five hoblis. AAP members said that the demand for bribe had come to light about a month ago during a sting operation.
“We had been trying to help children from low income groups to get admitted in schools under RTE. At the Nada Kacheri in Begur, the children and their parents were denied caste certificates. When we visited the spot, touts were found sitting on the chairs of clerks and officials inside the office, demanding bribe. We recorded the demand and they took to their heels. One of the touts left behind a bag, containing 80 caste certificates about to be issued and around 100 applications. We approached the Electronics City police since we started getting threatening calls from some unknown local leaders. A case was registered at the Electronics City police station which is yet to be transferred to the Lokayukta police,” AAP member Prakash Babu said.
Further, it was found that the tahsildar office was used as the centre to reject the applications. The complainant before the Upa Lokayukta Adarsh R Iyer, State working committee member of AAP, said that around 35 applications filed on behalf of the children from Gulbarga Colony in Jayanagar were rejected stating that none of the family members possessed a school certificate. Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi visited the tahsildar’s office on KG Road and found touts loitering around the office and applications being rejected without any valid reason.
“Based on the applications filed, the Revenue Inspector visited the houses and submitted the mahazar report stating that the children belonged to the caste stated by them in the applications. However, at the tahsildar’s office, it was pending before case worker Narayanappa. He finally rejected the applications on the ground that the applications were not accompanied with school certificate of any of the family members of the child,” Justice Adi said.
Source: Deccan Herald