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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Telangana: Additional District Collector among five arrested in graft case

The additional collector, according to the ACB, demanded a bribe of Rs 1.12 crore, at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per acre, to issue a no-objection certificate(NOC) to complete a land registration process.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad | Updated: September 10, 2020 9:20:04 am
During the searches as the RDO’s residence on Wednesday, the officials unearthed unaccounted cash of Rs 28 lakh and gold ornaments weighing 12 kg.

The Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau Wednesday conducted simultaneous raids on 12 locations in and around Hyderabad in connection with a graft case. Five people have been arrested including the additional collector of Medak district, Gaddam Nagesh.

The additional collector, according to the ACB, demanded a bribe of Rs 1.12 crore, at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per acre, to issue a no-objection certificate(NOC) to complete a land registration process.

“The NOC was required as the 112-acre land is in the list of 22-A Prohibitory lands and the complainant was compelled to pay the bribe amounts to complete pending survey work and online record correction pertaining to the land purchased by him,” said an ACB press note.

Those arrested include B Aruna Reddy, the revenue divisional officer(RDO) of Narsapur, Abdul Sattar, the Tehsildar of Chilpiched, Md Waseem Ahmed, who works as a junior assistant in the office of AD (Survey and Land Records) in Medak district, and one Kola Jeevan Goud, who received the bribe for the additional Collector, the ACB said.

During the searches at the RDO’s residence, the officials unearthed unaccounted cash of Rs 28 lakh and gold ornaments weighing 1/2 kg.

The complainant, along with four others, had purchased the 112-acre land in Chippalaturthi village of Narsapur Mandal in Medak in February 2020. As the complainant had approached the Tehsildar in July seeking issuance of the NOC, the file was moved from him to the RDO and then the additional collector in subsequent days.

The additional collector then demanded the bribe of Rs 1.12 crore and collected Rs 40 lakh in two installments. For the rest of the sum, he obtained an agreement of sale for five acres of land from the complainant, in return for cash to be paid to one Kola Jeevan Goud on his behalf. He also collected 8 signed blank cheques from the complainant as surety for the registration of land.

When the ACB officials raided Nagesh’s residence on Wednesday morning, they recovered these 8 blank cheques, the agreement of sale in the name of Jeevan Goud, apart from other incriminating material.

Further, the junior assistant at the office of AD(Survey and Land Records) had collected Rs 5 lakh from the complainant as a share of bribe for other officials. According to ACB, Rs 1 lakh each was paid to the RDO and the Tehsildar.  The action was based on the complaint on August 22, 2020, and inputs gathered.

ACB Deputy Director M.Ramana Kumar told indianexpress.com that “the investigation is wide open at the moment as the Rs 40 lakh bribe is not yet recovered from the accused officer who is not cooperating with the probe. The source of unaccounted cash and gold recovered from the RDO is yet to be established. Their bank accounts and other documents relating to property transactions are being verified.”

It is also not clear as to how the nexus of officials was formed or how long have they been operational. The service records of these accused officials are also to be examined.

All five accused were arrested and are being produced before the Special Judge for SPE and ACB Cases, Hyderabad.

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