September 24, 2020 5:01:00 am
On July 21 this year, a team of Gujarat Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) tried to nab a police constable outside Vayor police station in Kutch Bhuj who was allegedly accepting a bribe from a local farmer for not booking him under the Prohibition Act.
However, the constable, in order to avoid getting caught red-handed, chewed the currency notes, leaving no evidence to prove his act. The ACB then approached the Forensic Science Laboratory, which did a DNA test on the notes and established the charge against him in a report that came on Wednesday.
As per the ACB trap, the complainant farmer was supposed to meet accused constable Mayur Singh Sodha outside Vayor Police Station and hand him over currency notes of value Rs 4,000 laced with phenolphthalein powder, a chemical compound used by anti-graft agencies to get fingerprints on notes.
The complainant had approached the ACB team claiming that he had already paid the accused constable Rs 8,000 as bribe and he was still getting threatened by him for more money in exchange for not lodging a first information report (FIR) against him at Vayor PS.
The ACB team decided to apprehend him red-handed. However Sodha sensed the trap and tried to chew down the currency notes.
“Even as the ACB team held the accused constable and tried to deter him from swallowing the notes, he kept them for a long time in his mouth and ensured that the phenolphthalein powder on the notes got destroyed. Since he is a police personnel, he was aware of the tactics of the ACB. We managed to recover the currency notes from his mouth but the powder was gone,” said KH Gohil, assistant director, Bhuj Range, ACB.
The ACB then decided to take the help of forensic science personnel and made the accused constable and sample of currency notes undergo Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) profiling at the Gandhinagar based Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).
On Wednesday, the reports of FSL came out which proved that the saliva sample on chewed currency notes belonged to Sodha.
“When we seized currency notes used in the raid, our case becomes stronger. Use of DNA profiling will only help to strengthen the case against Sodha as now we have forensic evidence as well. This is the second such case for ACB where DNA profiling has been done of accused… two years ago in Patan, a forester used the same tactics during an ACB raid and tried to swallow the notes,” added Gohil.
On July 22, a first information report was lodged against Sodha at Bhuj ACB police station under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The FIR stated that Sodha, who was attached with Vayor PS, had raided the residence of the complainant farmer in June and had found equipment for filtration and brewery of country liquor. Since the raid, Sodha had been asking for a bribe from the farmer for not booking him under the prohibition act and had already accepted Rs 8,000 initially as per the complaint.
“The constable is under suspension and out on bail. Currently, the investigation in this case is still going on,” said Gohil.
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