The Pune unit of the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on Wednesday arrested a lawyer for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1.7 crore to get an order, in an ongoing land suit, in the complainant’s favour.
According to the ACB, the complainant in the case was involved in a land suit that was pending before the department of land record. The accused, identified as advocate Rohit Shende, allegedly told the complainant that he had contacts with senior officials in the department. Shende allegedly assured the complainant that he will use his contacts and get an order in his favour, and demanded Rs 2 crore from the complainant.
After negotiations, Shende allegedly agreed to do the work for Rs 1.7 crore. The complainant then approached the ACB’s Pune office.
The ACB team laid a trap and arrested the lawyer in the premises of the department of land records, while he was allegedly accepting money from the complainant.
Sandeep Diwan, superintendent of Police with the Pune unit of the ACB, said, “The complainant had an ongoing case in the office of the Deputy Director of Land Records in Pune, about removal of some names from the 7/12 extract of a land. The accused lawyer, who did not have anything to do with the case, promised the complainant that he would make sure that the ruling is in his favour. After the complainant approached us, for around a month, we monitored the activities of the lawyer. He initially demanded Rs 2 crore but agreed on Rs 1.7 crore. The complainant had laid down a condition, that the money will be given only after the order was delivered in his favour.”
Diwan added, “After the ruling was in the complainant’s favour, the lawyer was caught red-handed while accepting the bribe on Wednesday. We will now probe whether the lawyer really influenced the hearing and how high-up the nexus goes. Further probe into some leads is now on.”