An Assam excise superintendent, caught taking Rs 25,000 from a woman, has blamed an IAS officer for pressuring him to take bribes.
The IAS officer, serving as deputy commissioner (DC) of eastern Assam’s Golaghat district, has rubbished the accusation.
Sleuths of the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau had on Thursday caught Golaghat excise superintendent Jiban Phukan taking bribe. Produced in a Guwahati court on Friday, Phukan said he had taken the money to give to Barnali Deka, the district’s DC.
“I am a victim of a conspiracy. The DC demands Rs 20,000-30,000 to clear a file,” Phukan said after emerging from the court that sent him to four days’ remand to the anti-corruption bureau.
The woman, who was asked to pay the bribe, had applied to the Golaghat excise office for shifting of a bar on a highway. Her application was in deference to a Supreme Court move for a total ban on liquor shops along national highways.
She had met the excise superintendent and the DC several times but her file did not move. Phukan eventually told her to pay Rs 30,000 to get the job done. She tipped off the anti-corruption bureau.
“The accusation has no basis. It is true that the woman’s file was lying on my table. But then, I receive so many files everyday and it takes time to clear them,” Deka said.
Last month, police arrested a divisional forest officer in north-eastern Assam’s Dhemaji district for taking Rs 30,000 from the owners of three sand-laden trucks. The anti-corruption bureau raided his house and seized ivory and tiger and deer skin besides Rs 2.71-crore in cash.