October 10, 2009 12:13:47 am
The Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) has put 70 journalists under the scanner for allegedly receiving bribes in the form of monthly payments from a sub- registrar accused of involvement in corrupt activities.
The sub-registrar of North Delhi,Rajender Singh Madan,was arrested last month on charges of demanding a bribe for preparing sale deeds and other documents. Acting on a complaint of one Jagdish Chand,the ACB recorded a conversation in which the accused official purportedly demanded a large sum from Chand. According to sources,Madan later asked the complainant to hand over the money to his tout,Yashpal. The ACB sleuths laid a trap and arrested Yashpal. The sub-registrar was arrested later.
ACB sources told Newsline that after Chands arrest,they conducted several raids at his office and residence. In one such raid,70 visiting cards from various journalists were recovered with varying amounts written behind the cards.
The amounts varied between Rs 500 to Rs 6,000. We also recovered another document,which detailed the monthly payments to the journalists. It corresponded with the amounts written behind the cards, a police official said. The amounts were being sent to different journalists on a monthly basis,the police said.
Police suspect the journalists were aware of the sub-registrars activities and were being paid so that they would not write against him. The journalists belong to various newspapers,magazines and TV channels,the police said. Police officials refused to divulge the names of the journalists or their organisations. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (ACB),I B Shukla,said it would hamper investigations.
We will make the 70 journalists co-accused in the corruption case. They received bribes from the official and are equally responsible. We are collecting evidence and a case will be registered, a police official said.
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