THE ANTI Corruption Bureau (ACB) Wednesday arrested the assistant commissioner of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 40,000 from a medicine shop owner to clear a file related to the suspension of his shop licence. Pravin Mundhada (51), who was allegedly caught red-handed accepting the bribe money at the Bandra office of FDA, has faced two departmental inquiries in the past and been suspended once on account of corruption-related charges.
An ACB official said the complainant in the case was the owner of a medical shop. In 2014, there was an inspection carried out by FDA inspectors at his shop. It was found that there was no pharmacist present in the shop, which was in contravention of the law. In addition to this, the chemist shop was in violation of some other sections of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940, which regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of drugs in India.
Accordingly, one of the inspectors who conducted the raid sent a report to Mundhada who was the assistant commissioner.
As per the findings of the inspector, a show-cause notice was issued to the owner of the medical shop asking why the shop licence should not be cancelled and judicial proceedings against the shop owner not initiated by the FDA. The shop owner recently met Mundhada, who allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 40,000 from him for not taking any action against him and closing the file. The complainant, who did not want to make a payment, approached the ACB.
ACB officials verified the complaint on August 12 and found it genuine. They told the shop owner to accept the bribe demand. The complainant agreed to pay Rs 40,000 to Mundhada. On Wednesday morning, as Mundhada was accepting the bribe amount, the ACB officials allegedly caught him red-handed. FDA Joint Commissioner Harish Baijal confirmed that Mundhada had faced two departmental inquiries and one suspension in the past in corruption-related cases.
In another trap laid by the ACB in the city, two sweeper mukadams of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) were caught while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from a BMC sweeper. As per ACB officials, the two mukadams namely Kanhaiyalal Rathod, 41, and Sandeep More, 34, were responsible for maintaining the attendance register.
After the complainant would mark his attendance with a pen, the mukadams would erase it thereby showing he was absent. They then allegedly demanded Rs 3,000 from him to mark him present. Unwilling to make a payment, the complainant approached the ACB, which caught them red-handed accepting a bribe Wednesday.