Court acquits official of cooperative dept in bribery case

A special court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has acquitted an official of the cooperative department accused of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000.

Special judge Amit M Shete, in an order dated September 16, held that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against the alleged accused, Hauserao Ramchandra Gawade and acquitted him.

Special public prosecutor Sanjay B More informed the court that the complainant in the case worked in a travel agency and lived in a housing society in Mira Road.

The complainant went abroad for higher studies and returned home in 2009 and found that her flat had been sealed. On inquiry, she found that recovery proceedings had been initiated against her over maintenance dues, he said.

The complainant approached Gawade, the special recovery officer, who informed her that she had arrears to the tune of Rs 56,695 with an interest rate of 12 per cent apart from some additional charges, the prosecution said.

The recovery officer also allegedly demanded Rs 10,000 to unseal the flat, he said.

Unwilling to pay the bribe, the complainant approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which in turn verified the demand and allegedly caught the officer while accepting the bribe.

The court, however, held that the evidence on record did not establish the demand for a bribe and gave the accused the benefit of the doubt.

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