Bundgarden police registered an offence against an RTI activist for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 5 crore from a builder. The activist denied the allegation saying the builder made the allegation since he had exposed a Rs 417 crore scam involving him. The activist, Ravindra Laxman Barhate, has been booked under section 385 of IPC.
According to the complaint filed by realtor Hemant Gavande, Barhate had filed several RTI applications about a property owned by him and then used the information to misguide PMC and Pune Collectorate officials about its ownership. Barhate then allegedly demanded Rs 5 crore from him to settle the matter.
Barhate denied the allegation, and said he had exposed an attempt by Gavande and three others to usurp land belonging to College of Agriculture, Pune. “The land belongs to the college since 1883. A group of people tried to usurp a plot of 34,800 square metres. I exposed this through my RTI applications and complained about it. A case was also registered at Shivajinagar Police Station. The state revenue minister has also taken cognisance of the matter. Peeved at this, a fake case has been registered to harass me,” he said.