The anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) booked a field assistant of the Gujarat Land Development Corporation (GLDC) based in Chhota Udepur, for allegedly siphoning government allotted funds and owning disproportionate assets worth Rs 2.8 crore.
According to ACB officials, field assistant with GLDC, Jayanti Patel and his wife Nanda Patel — both residents of Chhota Udepur — have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act (1988) for owning disproportionate assets worth Rs 2,80,98,801, amounting to 59 per cent of his total assets. These include unaccounted cash, funds transfer and disproportionate assets including land plots, houses, four-wheelers and a JCB machine. The accused had allegedly mentioned his elder son, who is currently studying in the United States, as a contractor with GLDC and transferred funds worth Rs 1.5 crore.
Speaking to The Indian Express, N P Gohil, Assistant Director of ACB, Surat said, “We have been probing allegations against Patel for the past one year and it has come to light that he has allegedly tried to siphon off government funds to the accounts of his family members. His wife is also charged as a co-conspirator in the case. We have also recorded statements of both the accused and after the FIR has been lodged, it will be probed by the ACB team.”
The allegations against Patel had emerged last year, after an ACB team had raided the office of GLDC in Gandhinagar and found unaccounted cash worth over Rs 56 lakh.
“On April 12, 2018, an ACB team had raided the GLDC office and recovered Rs 56,50,500 amid allegations that a few GLDC officials are involved in widespread corruption, by allegedly sanctioning grants for government schemes. After the raid, we received anonymous complaints about Patel being involved in corrupt practices and our probe began then,” said Gohil.
Officials added that they were alerted when documents released by Patel’s family showed his son, Jaimin Patel being listed as a contractor.
“Jaimin had filed his IT returns, which mentioned him as a contractor with GLDC. We also found a wire transfer of Rs 1.5 crore to his account by Patel. We are yet to investigate how much government funds Patel transferred to his son’s account,” said Gohil.
Patel had first joined GLDC as a field assistant in 1983 in Rajkot and has also served in Godhra, Dabhoi and Chhota Udepur, where he is currently posted. Officials said that it is in Chhota Udepur where Patel acquired most of his immovable properties.