A senior Maharashtra-cadre police officer, AK Jain, was on Wednesday convicted for demanding bribe from a police inspector. Jain, who had been a deputy inspector general of police (DIG) at the time of his suspension, and his chartered accountant, Prasana Lodha, have been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and fined Rs. 1.5 lakh each.
“This is the first case in the country where an IPS official has been found guilty of demanding bribe,” said special public prosecutor Kalpana Chavan. “We had very strong evidence against him. The court has awarded him maximum punishment under the law.”
Jain and Lodha were booked in May 2000 for demanding a bribe of Rs. 5 lakh to clear police inspector Sanjiv Kokil, posted at Byculla police station, in an inquiry. Kokil was facing inquiry as when he was on night duty a bar was found open after the permissible time limit. Jain, an IPS officer of the 1982 batch, was then additional police commissioner of central region. Lodha had negotiated with Kokil to fix the bribe amount at Rs. 3 lakh.
Kokil approached the anti-corruption bureau and on the basis of his complaint, the ACB had registered an offence and laid a trap. Lodha was caught red-handed while accepting the bribe and Jain was arrested soon after.
Chavan examined 20 witnesses, while the key evidence was the recorded conversation and records of phone calls between Kokil, Jain and Lodha.
Shattered by the special anti-corruption court’s decision, Jain pleaded that he be granted leniency as he has already suffered because of a long suspension period of almost a decade. The court, however, rejected the plea.