The arrested executive engineer of public works department (PWD), Satish Chikhlikar, has landed in further trouble with the Nashik anti-corruption bureau (ACB) planning to seek permission to file an additional case of disproportionate assets.
ACB officials arrested Chikhlikar on Friday, after they laid a trap for Jagdish Wagh, a section engineer attached with the PWD, and arrested him on Thursday while accepting a bribe of Rs 22,000 on behalf of Chikhlikar.
“Chikhlikar had told the contractor to hand over the money to Wagh,” said SH Mahavarkar, deputy commissioner of police, Nashik ACB.
According to the Nashik ACB, the complainant, a contractor, was awarded a contract of Rs43 lakh to construct a two-kilometre road in 2009 in Nashik. The contractor was to be given a cheque of Rs3.79 lakh for which Chikhlikar and Wagh allegedly demanded 6% commission (Rs22,000).
The ensuing probe revealed that the executive engineer had amassed wealth worth more than Rs14 crore. The police began searches and stumbled upon currency notes stuffed in two bank lockers at Chikhlikar’s residence.
The officials recovered Rs7.5 crore in cash, and gold and silver ornaments weighing around 5 kg worth Rs2 crore from bank lockers and residence of Chikhlikar. “It took us around four hours to count the money (Rs 7.5 crore cash) using a machine,” said an officer from ACB.
Besides, papers pertaining to properties worth Rs5.16 crore in the name of Chikhlikar’s family members were also found. ACB sources stated that Chikhlikar owns land lots in Aurangabad, Nanded and Pune’s Baner, Balewadi and Kothrud areas. “The property evaluation on paper is Rs5.16 crore but the actual market value is much higher,” the officer said.
The total evaluation of Wagh’s assets came to around Rs86 lakh including Rs50 lakh cash.
“We are probing the case and have found 26 properties belonging to Chikhlikar either in his name or those of his family members. We would probe if his family members were in loop of his illegal activities and accordingly register a case against concerned family members. At the moment, Chikhlikar and his wife are in the ambit of the investigation,” said an ACB officer from Nashik.
Chikhlikar and Wagh were on Friday produced before a local court that remanded them to police custody for seven days.