Policemen are India's most corrupt officials, according to a Web site that aggregates reports from members of the public as part of a social initiative to tackle corruption.
The site ipaidabribe.com (IPAB), run by the Bangalore-based Janaagraha centre for citizenship and democracy, aggregated over 22,490 reports of bribes being paid in 493 cities. This registered a total value of INR 833 million (US$15 million) or approximately INR 37,000 (US$670) per bribe.
Some of the allegations by citizens include: a cyclist being forced to pay INR 2,000 (US$37) to acquire a police report, after his bike was stolen; the Central Bureau of Customs and Excise charging a small business INR 10,000 (US$184) to register for Service Tax; and a Jaipur resident being "blackmailed" by the Income Tax department to the tune of INR 200,000 (US$3,684).
"The ITO [income tax office] forced me to pay bribe, otherwise, heavy tax dues will be created and will be compelled to pay the wrongful tax," the whistleblower wrote. "So I was compelled to pay the bribe."
India's law enforcement requested money 6,520 times from the members of the public they're supposed to protect. This almost eclipsed the total number of sweeteners imposed by the next three most corrupt departments: Stamps and Registration (2,962), Municipal Services (1,865), and Transport (1,906).
Bangalore is the most corrupt city location with 5,261 cases of officials requesting money, greater than the next four worst cities combined: Mumbai (1,332), Pune (848), New Delhi (847), and Ahmedebad (217).
Around ten percent of cases over 20,000 reports saw "bribe fighters" not pay the fee, and "honest officials" refuse to request kickbacks when they provided a government service.
Victims don't have to provide their name and contacts details when filing a report, but must list the department, the purpose, the amount, and the location. If they provide personal information they can remain anonymous, or broadcast this to the public, the media and the corruption watchdog, once IPAB verifies their identity via a confirmation e-mail or SMS.
"Please do not post messages that are false, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, or profane. A defamatory comment is a false comment that is capable of damaging the reputation of a person or organization. If successfully sued in relation to any content posted by you, you could be held liable for considerable damages and costs," the policy states.