The anti-corruption branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday filed a charge sheet against Manjit Singh Bali, former chief postmaster general, Maharashtra and Goa, for accepting a bribe of Rs2 crore.
The CBI has also named Harsh Dalmia and his father, Arun Dalmia, who had acted as middlemen and initially collected the bribe for Bali. The charge sheet was filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the court of the special judge for CBI cases in Mumbai.
The CBI had arrested Bali and the Dalmias on February 24 while accepting a bribe to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the development of a 2,000-sq-m plot in Mira Road partly reserved for the postal department.
The plot was a reserved plot belonging to the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation and 25% of it was meant to house a post office. Developing the plot required an NOC from the postal department, which Bali headed then.
Bali was caught accepting the bribe a month after a meeting with CBI’s joint director Rishi Raj Singh in which he had assured the agency that he would give it information about corrupt employees in his department.
Bali was caught in a restaurant at Badhwar Park near Cuffe Parade when he was collecting the money from the Dalmias. The CBI trapped Bali following a complaint filed by an ex-corporator and social worker from the Mira-Bhayandar belt.
When the CBI searched Bali’s premises, it found Rs34 lakh, $10,722 (Rs4.83 lakh approximately), £3,050 (around Rs2.44 lakh) and euros3,470 (approximately Rs2.08 lakh) at his official residence at Belvedere Court in Warden Road.
The CBI also found immovable assets worth more than Rs1 crore in the names of Bali and his family at Faridabad, Punchkula, Dwarka in New Delhi, Bhopal and Gurgaon. Bali also had 22 bank accounts and public provident fund accounts with balances of more than Rs26 lakh.
“This was one of the biggest traps in the history of the CBI involving an additional secretary level officer who was caught taking a bribe of Rs2 crore,” an official statement from the CBI, issued on Friday, said.