‘KDMC top of­fi­cial sought bribe for each flat, fi­nances un­der lens’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

MUM­BAI: The anti-cor­rup­tion bureau (ACB) which ar­rested San­jay Gharat, the ad­di­tional mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner of Kalyan-dom­bivli Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (KDMC), and two clerks of the civic body in an ₹8 lakh graft case, re­vealed that bribes were sought for each flat for clear­ances.

The trap, laid by the ACB, re­vealed the bribery rates of the case. The ac­cused were seek­ing ₹1 lakh per flat for a to­tal of 49 flats in a seven-storey build­ing con- structed by the com­plainant. “A to­tal bribe of ₹45 lakh was sought, which was later ne­go­ti­ated to ₹35 lakh,” said the ACB of­fi­cer adding that ₹8 lakh was the first in­stal­ment. The ACB has made the fourth ar­rest in the case, a 57-year-old man present in Gharat’s cabin. “We are as­cer­tain­ing the role of the fourth per­son. He was ar­rested as there was no rea­son for him to as­sist Gharat in tak­ing the bag which had money,” said a se­nior ACB of­fi­cer. Searches were con­ducted at Gharat’s res­i­dence and of­fice. Of­fi­cers are scan­ning his doc­u­ments to check whether he has amassed any ill-got­ten wealth. “So far, we have not got any­thing but we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” said the ACB of­fi­cer. Sources said that the com­plainant was fed up with the bu­reau­cratic hur­dles he was fac­ing for clearing his pro­ject con­structed in one of the 27 vil­lages merged into the KDMC.

“Frus­trated by the hin­drances of the au­thor­i­ties, he re­ported the bribe de­mand af­ter which the trap was laid by the ACB,” said the of­fi­cer. ACB sources said that they have a strong case against Gharat and oth­ers as they have ver­i­fied the bribe de­mand on three oc­ca­sions in June. Fur­ther, an in­de­pen­dent wit­ness who saw the trap will also tes­tify in this re­gard. “Af­ter the bribe was ac­cepted, the ac­cused were caught red-handed,” said the ACB of­fi­cer. The ac­cused were re­manded in po­lice cus­tody up to June 18 by the court on Thursday.

RISHIKESH CHOUD­HARY/HT

KDMC ad­di­tional com­mis­sioner San­jay Gharat (right) was pro­duced in the Kalyan court on Thursday.

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