The Palghar unit of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) trapped an IAS officer along with the deputy commissioner of the tribal development department Saturday for allegedly demanding Rs 12 lakh as bribe. The accused allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh each from 12 employees of an ashramshala, who had been promoted as rectors a few years ago.
An ACB officer said the complainant approached it a few weeks ago alleging that additional commissioner of tribal affairs Milind Gawade (54) and deputy commissioner Kiran Mali (39) had been demanding a bribe from him and 11 other employees. “The 40-year-old complainant said he along with his 11 colleagues had been working at the ashramshala as rectors. They were promoted as rectors from superintendent a few years back,” the officer said.
“The complainant alleged that Gawade asked him and his 11 colleagues to pay him Rs 1 lakh each if they wanted to continue as rectors. He allegedly threatened them that if the money was not paid, he would revert them back to superintendent on the basis of their educational qualifications,” the officer added.
The ACB, after verifying the complaint, told the complainant to “agree to paying the amount”. The complainant, accordingly, contacted Gawade, who allegedly told him that the money was to be paid to Mali. Accordingly, the complainant told Mali that he would pay Rs 12 lakh on behalf of everyone. “Around 6.45 pm on Saturday, once the complainant paid the money to Mali, we went to the room and found the Rs 12 lakh with Mali. On further interrogation, it came to light that Mali had accepted the money on behalf of Gawade,” the officer said.
The ACB will now seek their custody for interrogation. An officer said searches would be carried out at their residence to check if their assets were proportionate to their known sources of income.