THREE MONTHS after he was booked for allegedly demanding Rs 8 lakh bribe from a person, deputy superintendent of police (SP) of Jetpur division in Rajkot district, J M Bharwad appeared before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Friday. He was granted anticipatory bail by the Supreme Court a couple of days ago.
His appearance before the ACB marks culmination of an intense hunt and legal battle launched by the ACB to nab the officer who had allegedly slipped underground soon after the ACB arrested a police constable named Vishal Sonara on August 3 this year.
Acting on a complaint filed by a person, the ACB laid a trap and arrested the police constable as soon as he accepted Rs 8 lakh bribe. In his complaint, the person had stated that his friend had been booked under Arms Act by Jetpur taluka police station, which falls under Bharwad’s jurisdiction.
The complainant further alleged that Bharwad demanded Rs 10 lakh for not beating up and interrogating the person booked under the Arms Act. However, soon after ACB trapped and arrested Sonara, the DySP slipped underground. A few days after he was booked in the bribery case, his private car was found abandoned with his official uniform.
Bharwad had initially approached the Dhoraji branch of district and sessions court of Rajkot seeking protection against arrest. In his plea, Bharwad had claimed that he had investigated some high-profile cases in the state and that he was being framed in the corruption case. However, the sessions court had rejected his plea. Subsequently, the Gujarat High Court had also trashed his plea seeking anticipatory bail.
Meanwhile, the Dhoraji bench of Rajkot district had accepted an ACB plea to declare Bharwad a proclaimed offender. Eventually, he had petitioned the Supreme Court for protection against his arrest in the corruption case and the court granted his plea a couple of days ago.