The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) has arrested the reader to the Special Metropolitan Magistrate of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) over allegations of taking a bribe of Rs 5,000.
The accused, Rajender Gautam, was arrested after he was caught allegedly taking a bribe from the complainant, who had already tipped off the officers from the ACB. Gautam is the reader to Special MM RP Jain from the Lajpat Nagar zone. The DJB spokesperson said “they were not informed about the arrests by the ACB and are looking into the matter”.
“Our team was dispatched to the office of the accused and when the exchange of money had taken place, we arrested Gautam. His questioning is underway,” said a senior ACB official.
The accused has been charged under Section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption (POC) Act.
The case came to light when a woman, Chamli Devi, a resident of Nangli Vihar in Najafgarh, approached the ACB and informed them that Gautam was demanding a bribe from them. “The woman was accompanied by two other people who claimed they were accused of water theft in their locality, and that the accused had procured the challaned order from the court and offered to settle the matter,” the official said.
When the woman appeared at the Lajpat Nagar office, the accused claimed the challan would have a fine ranging from Rs one lakh to Rs 50, 000. “The woman then pleaded with the accused, claiming she was poor and could not pay the amount. Then the accused made a demand of Rs 10, 000, and after negotiating further, they finally settled at Rs 5,000,” the official said.
With the case coming to light, the ACB also believes that even though no other complainant has made the allegations, they are investigating the possibility of other victims. The ACB will also ascertain as to how the protocol was broken and the accused managed to get his hands on the challan orders and if other people from the MM court were involved, officials said.