Surat Anti-Corruption Bureau officials on Thursday said that on investigating municipal officials arrested in the Takshashila Arcade fire incident that caused the death of 22 students, they have found disproportionate assets worth Rs 67.33 lakh in the name of suspended Deputy chief fire officer S K Acharya and cash of Rs 74.35 lakh in his bank accounts.
Surat police had arrested 11 persons including fire officials, engineers of the Surat Municipal Corporation, officials of the power supply company DGVCL, builders and coaching class owners.
The ACB had registered a suo motu offence after learning about the alleged corruption involved in the construction of an illegal dome-like structure on the fourth floor terrace of Takshashila Arcade, and begun investigations.
Investigating suspended officer Acharya, officials checked his salary income and against his expenses with regard to his son’s education and the family’s monthly expenses. His salary account with UCO bank as well as the bank accounts of his wife and son in Andhra Bank and Axis Bank were examined. In all five accounts, Acharya, his wife and son had deposited amounts between Rs 40,000 and Rs 46,000 hundreds of times during the period between 2008 and 2019. The deposits totalled Rs 74.35 lakh.
On checking the details of properties purchased by the accused during his service period, ACB officials that Acharya and his wife had bought properties worth Rs. 67.33 lakh.
The ACB then registered a case against Acharya under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (amendment 2018) Sections 13(1)(B), and 13(2).
ACB officials also investigated Deputy Engineer of SMC Veenu Parmar and Junior engineer of SMC Hareram Singh, and found that they illegally earned Rs 1.20 crore, and Rs.42.62 lakh respectively.
Parmarand, Hareram Singh and Acharya were arrested by Surat police and are presently in judicial custody in Surat district central jail at Lajpore.
Deputy Director of ACB Surat, N D CHauhan said, “We are still carrying out further investigations,” adding that many more shocking details are likely to come out soon.