Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday launched a helpline number to deal with corruption and promised action against those involved in corrupt practices within 24 hours of a sting operation conducted by citizens with help from the advisors of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the State government.
Mr. Kejriwal, however, clarified that the helpline number (011-27357169) is an “anti-corruption helpline number” and not a “complaint number” that will work from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“It is not a complaint number. It is a helpline number, where people will be advised and explained by an anti-corruption department official on how to conduct a sting operation. The sting could be done either in visual or audio mode. After doing the sting, the person should get back to the same advisor,following which a trap will be laid [by the ACB] to nab the accused,” Mr. Kejriwal told journalists at a press conference here, adding that “action will be taken within 24 hours of the sting operation”.
Announcing the anti-corruption number 10 days after he made the promise of launching it within 48 hours after taking oath on December 28 at Ramlila Maidan, Mr. Kejriwal said: “With just a phone, every citizen of Delhi will become an anti-corruption crusader.”
“The purpose of launching this helpline is to create fear in the minds of corrupt individuals. There are certain fish that turn the water filthy. It [the helpline] will act as deterrence as such people should fear that they might be under surveillance,” said Mr. Kejriwal, adding that former IPS officer Dilip Kumar has been appointed the anti-corruption advisor for the State government.
Mr. Kumar, who will monitor the helpline, previously served in the ACB and also held the post of Joint Commissioner (Vigilance) of the Delhi Police.
Mr. Kejriwal said several teams have been constituted as backend support to ensure speedy disposal of corruption cases brought into light through the helpline. The Chief Minister said the government will advertise in newspapers and FM radio, apart from putting up hoardings, to inform the people about the helpline number.
Mr. Kejriwal said the government will soon announce a “simpler helpline number” that will be easier to remember over the next four-five days.
Citing the absence of a Whistleblower Protection Act, Mr. Kejriwal said “his government will provide protection to the whistleblower in the best possible manner within the available legal framework”.