A special sessions court in Vadodara rejected the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) closure report in the bribery case involving former IPS officer DG Vanzara’s son, Arjun Vanzara, citing lack of evidence against him.
Arjun, then a mamlatdar in Vadodara, was arrested in a bribery case in 2016 after he was caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 75,000. In June 2017, the ACB filed a closure report under CrPC 169 in the case stating that there was not enough evidence against Arjun based on which they could file a chargesheet against him. It said they failed to find any evidence of Arjun’s direct involvement in the case.
The ACB also claimed that the complainant in the case did not have a direct conversation with Arjun regarding the bribe on phone or in person while he had a conversation with the other accused, Jaswantsinh Hajoori. As per the three audio CDs received of the telephonic conversation between the complainant and Arjun, the latter only said that he will meet the complainant the next day and talk, the plea said.
The court, however, rejected the ACB’s report and ordered further investigation into the matter. The court observed that Hajoori had asked the complainant to speak to Arjun. Based on the prosecution lawyer’s plea, the court also ordered the ACB to investigate further regarding the Rs 3,12,500 lakh and dollars which the ACB recovered from a bag in Arjun’s Scorpio car during a search.
It was alleged that Arjun, who was a mamlatdar in the land records office, demanded a bribe of Rs1 lakh from a farmer, Chintan Patel, for making an entry in his land records.
The complainant (Chintan Patel) had bought a plot of farm land near Itola from a person in 2016. After the transaction, when the land was transferred by the actual owner to Patel, he approached Vanzara and Hajoori for the name change.
After negotiations, the farmer agreed to pay Rs 75,000. Patel later approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau and complained against the official. On June 5, 2016, the farmer went to Arjun Vanzara’s office and when the bribe was being offered, the ACB team caught him red-handed.