The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) trapped a peon attached to the Bombay High Court on Monday, as he was accepting Rs 50 to circulate a case in the high court board.
ACB sources said Sreedhar Chauhan, the peon in courtroom no 27, was caught red-handed on the court premises while accepting the bribe amount.
Though senior officers from the ACB were not available for comment, The Hindustan Times has obtained a copy of the FIR in the case.
The ACB laid a trap after a complaint was lodged by senior advocate Anil Budge, against the errant peon. Bugde told Hindustan Times that he had moved a petition in the high court for the transfer of a case from the Mazgaon metropolitan magistrate’s court to a court in Pune.
The petitioner in the case, who is a resident of Pune, was unable to appear in the Mumbai court and had petitioned the high court to move it to Pune.
Bugde said when he went to the high court to enquire about the status of the petition, he was told by some staff members there that he would have to grease some palms to get his case circulated on an urgent basis.
He then met Shreedhar Chauhan, who promised to put the case under the category of ‘Urgent Circulation’ for a consideration of Rs 1,000.
“I paid him the first instalment of Rs 500 and the matter came on the board for hearing on October 8,” Bugde said.
The same evening, Bugde approached the ACB, who lodged an FIR following an investigation.
On ACB’s suggestion, Bugde came on Monday to hand over the balance Rs 500 to Chauhan. As he took the money, the waiting ACB sleuths in plainclothes nabbed him red-handed.
“My purpose was not to get one corrupt court peon arrested. Rather, it is a small step towards addressing the ills that have been bugging the court and its reputation,” Bugde said.