Retired IPS officer and a key accused in fake encounter cases, DG Vanzara’s son Arjun, a class-II officer, on July 5 was caught red-handed along with his subordinate officer by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths in Vadodara while accepting Rs 75,000 as bribe.
Arjun Vanzara is a mamlatdar (executive magistrate) posted in Vadodara rural. He along with his deputy mamlatdar Jashvantsinh Dashrathsinh Hajuri had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs1 lakh from the complainant “to order in favour of complainant’s land matter.”
Both of them have been arrested, ACB officials said adding that they will be produced before a special court on Wednesday. On the other hand, DG Vanzara when contacted, said that he will comment only after getting all the details of the case. He said that he will be holding a press conference on Wednesday to clear his stand. “I am a responsible public figure and once I get details I would certainly make my stand clear,” he told this paper.
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The complainant Chintan patel, a resident of Varsada village, who owns land near Itoal village in the district, had approached the ACB officials after he was allegedly compelled to give bribe to the two accused.
Patel had purchased land sometime back from one Chandrakant Chavda and had got it registered on his name at Mamlatdar office. He had obtained all the documents related to land ownership Patel received a notice stating “the land hasn’t been not registered in the Mamlatar record book and he needs to do that entry.”
Initially, he met the officers at the Mamlatdar office but after few visits Hajuri asked Patel “to settle the matter by paying Rs.1 lakh.” Patel was constantly receiving the calls from the Hajuri to settle the matter. During his run-ins with the officers Patel also met Vanjara and Hajuri in person and requested to reduce the amount and they allegedly settled the deal for Rs. 75,000.
“After receiving the complaint from Patel we laid the trap at Mamlatdar office on Tuesday evening where we sent Patel to the office to handover the money while we were waiting outside. Once Patel handed over the money to Hajuri, we raided the office and caught both of them red-handed and recovered the money from them,” Assistant Director (ACB) P R Gelot said.
He said that cash over Rs. 3.27 lakh has also been recovered from Vanzara’s car, while Rs26,142 has been recovered from Hajuri’s possession.
“Both accused have been booked under section 7 (Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act.) 13 (Criminal misconduct by a public servant) of prevention of anti-corruption act. The accused will be produced in the court tomorrow,” said G D Palsana Police inspector, ACB Vadodara.