Weeks after a constable was arrested for possessing 124kg of mephedrone, another police officer has been caught on the wrong side of the law.
Ashok Mulchand Gaud, assistant inspector at the Mahim police station, has been booked by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) for allegedly demanding Rs 1.75 lakh from a developer, sources said.
Gaud is the second senior officer from the Mahim police station to be booked for graft within a span of two months. He is yet to be arrested.
Searches by the ACB revealed cash deposits of Rs 27.15 lakh in banks accounts in Gaud and his wife’s names. He also owns a 760-sqft flat in Ghatkopar.
“The complainant is a developer, who runs a firm in partnership with his son. A case was registered against them for cutting trees while developing a plot,” said an ACB officer. Gaud demanded a bribe of Rs 1.75 lakh from the complainant, in return for not arresting his son in the case. The developer then approached the ACB.
“On March 11, we verified the case, in which the accused demanded the bribe from the developer. We have electronic evidence of the demand,” said the officer.
ACB sources said Gaud probably sensed trouble, and did not call the developer back. He also went on sick leave from March 16. “We were waiting for Gaud to get back to the developer but he did not, as he may have found his conduct suspicious. We registered a case for the demand,” said the officer.
According to the law, acceptance of bribe is not mandatory to prosecute a public servant and demand too is a punishable offence. Gaud has been booked under the relevant section of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. On February 6, another senior police inspector at Mahim police station was arrested by the ACB while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000. The bribe was for not registering a complaint against a tenant who was not vacating a flat.
When asked about two graft cases in the same police station, a senior officer said, “We keep a close watch and warnings are also issued. Matters in the police stations are expedited so that graft incidents are avoided.”