The Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) trapped and arrested two deputy collectors on Monday for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 1 lakh to clear a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project in Malad.
According to ACB officials, the accused, Pravin Patil (53) and Anil Bhoir (52), work as deputy collectors (enforcement and demolition) in Malad. The complainant, meanwhile, is a private developer engaged in the redevelopment of a slum colony.
“A few slumdwellers were opposed to the redevelopment and had appealed to the suburban collector. However, their appeals had been rejected and the collector’s office had told them to vacate their homes and was to issue eviction notices,” said Vasant Devarkar, Additional Superintendent of Police, ACB.
He added that Patil and Bhoir, instead, allegedly asked to be paid Rs 2.5 lakh to grant the complainant the eviction notices. “They thought that they could make some money by helping clear a project that was facing resistance,” he said.
Devarkar added, “Following negotiations, the bribe amount was brought down to Rs 1.5 lakh, and Patil and Bhoir asked to be paid in two installments, Rs 1 lakh upfront and Rs 50,000 after the notice was granted.”
At 4 pm on Monday, ACB allegedly caught Patil and Bhoir accepting the bribe red-handed in their Malad office. “Both Patil and Bhoir had planned to split the amount evenly,” Devarkar said. Both accused will be produced before a magistrate on Tuesday.