A municipal corporator is also covered by the definition of a “public servant” and is liable to be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act), ruled the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.
A division bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice U.D. Salvi dismissed a petition filed by Vishakha Pednekar, a Shiv Sena corporator from D ward (Nana Chowk, Napean Sea Road, Pedder Road), seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against her for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 25,000.
Pramod Kanade, an interior designer, had lodged a complaint against Pednekar on August 18, 2009 alleging that she demanded Rs 25,000 from her.
Kanade was asked to design an ATM booth at Chira Bazaar for Sahayadri Co-Operative Bank. As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had not given permission to set up a booth at that particular place, the booth was demolished.
Kanade then approached Pednekar requesting that they be allowed to set up an ATM booth. Kanade alleged that it was then that Pednekar demanded the money.
Kanade reported to the bank manager and they laid a trap with the help of the Anti-Corruption Bureau. On August 20, Kanade allegedly gave Rs 25,000 to Pednekar’s mother-in-law on her behalf.
Additional public prosecutor, argued that the SC has held in a case involving P.V. Narsima Rao, that “a member of parliament assembly are public servants under the PC Act”. Therefore, the same logic applied here, added Yagnik. Agreeing with Yagnik, the high court dismissed Pednekar’s petition.