The Vadodara Municipal Corporation Commissioner on Friday suspended an executive engineer of the Water Project Department of the civic body after he was arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on August 31 for accepting a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh. The decision came after a special standing committee was convened on Friday to clear the way for the suspension of the engineer Mukund Patel, almost a week after his arrest.
VMC Commissioner Shalini Agarwal issued a notice on the executive engineer’s suspension. Patel was allegedly caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh for clearing an overdue bill. The notice states that until the time that Patel remains suspended, he will receive his salary deemed retired from service.
Patel has been prohibited from leaving Vadodara without the explicit written permission of the Municipal Commissioner and is also barred from taking up any other occupation or employment during his suspension. The notice states that if Patel is found to be conducting any business or working in another full time or part-time job during his suspension, it will be seen as an illegal act.
The standing committee cleared Patel’s suspension Friday at a special meeting, following a hullabaloo by the opposition over the issue in the VMC general board meeting on Wednesday. As Patel was arrested on August 31, the opposition cornered the ruling VMC over the delay in suspending the tainted officer.
Corporator Chirag Zaveri accused the administrative wing of covering up Patel’s misdeeds as the matter was not brought to the general board on an urgent basis.
The contractor who complained in the case contacted the ACB and Patel was “caught red handed”, a press release said. Patel was earlier suspended in June along with two officers of the same department, after the civic body admitted that its Nimeta water filtration plant had not been serviced for over a decade.