Updated: August 28, 2021 7:46:11 am
THE Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has decided to investigate all 16 members of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s standing committee. The members will be investigated in connection with the bribery case in which committee chairman Nitin Landge and four other civic employees were arrested recently from the PCMC headquarters in Pimpri.
“We will investigate all 16 members of the PCMC standing committee. This is because the chairman’s personal secretary (one of the civic employees arrested) has said that the commission amount is shared with all members,” said ACB Inspector Seema Mehendale.
Another ACB official said, “While opposing the bail plea of the accused, we had pointed out to the court that we want to investigate all the members and they might be influenced by the accused if they are released on bail.”
Rahul Kalate, a former member of the civic standing committee, said, “If an investigation is carried out, it would act as a deterrent and in future, there would be no murky deals. The ACB should go ahead with its investigation and find the truth. Standing committees across the country have a bad reputation of taking bribes and this should end once and for all.”
Stating that his party was not afraid of any probe, BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president Mahesh Landge said, “The BJP has majority in the standing committee and we have been transparent in our dealings. We are not afraid of any probe. The ACB should go ahead with its probe. The arrest of Nitin Landge was done without any concrete proof… we will fight for justice for him.”
Raju Misal, PCMC house leader from NCP, said, “We have four members in the standing committee. The decisions of the standing committee were not taken unanimously. Since BJP has brute majority, the BJP chairman and members took their own decisions without taking our members into confidence. Therefore, our members have no role in the bribe case. If at all they are found to have taken a bribe, we will take action against them.”
PCMC commissioner Rajesh Patil said his administration was working on improving the system to ensure more transparency. “Most of our work is now online and therefore the scope for corruption has reduced drastically. There will be further improvement in the system which will bring down corruption significantly,” he said.
Meanwhile, a court on Thursday cancelled the interim bail granted to Landge and remanded him to judicial custody. The BJP corporator had earlier been granted bail for two days to attend rituals after the death of a close relative. The other four arrested civic employees have also been remanded to judicial custody.
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