Officials’ salary: Rs 40,000. Assets: Crores | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Officials’ salary: Rs 40,000. Assets: Crores

mumbai Updated: May 24, 2010 01:33 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

A High-rise Building Committee’s structural engineer Sailesh Mahimtura was recently arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for demanding a bribe. His arrest has brought attention to cases where senior government officials, or those connected with government bodies, have been found indulging in corruption and abuse of their official position.

In all the cases registered in the past four to five months, the assets belonging to these officials amounted to crores of rupees. None of them earned more than Rs 40,000 per month as their official salary.

On February 22, more than Rs 18 lakh cash, gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 17 lakh, numerous bank accounts, property details of flats and farmhouses were found during an ACB search at the residence of Sunil Joshi, an executive engineer with the Thane-Dombivli municipal corporation.

Joshi was trapped by the ACB while accepting bribe from a developer. His Dombivli flat where he stayed with his family admeasures more than 5,000 sq-ft (worth crores) and was made by joining four flats on one floor. Rs 18 lakh was found in the cupboard of one of the many rooms.

Gold and silver jewellery (worth Rs 17 lakh and Rs 79,378 respectively) was also found. Each room is equipped with LCD televisions and air conditioners.

Four double door fridges were found in the modular kitchen. The Italian-tiled floor matches with the expensive bathtubs and sanitary fittings - all of which are imported. Designer suits, sunglasses and expensive perfumes were also found during the search. Joshi owned five flats in Kalyan-Dombivli, one in Pune and a farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar. On May 4, Vikram Jadhav, an executive engineer with the Public Works Department (PWD) at Pune (north division) was trapped by the ACB while accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe from a contractor.

Later during a search at his house, the ACB sleuths stumbled upon Rs 1.68 crore cash apart from jewellery worth more than Rs 11 lakh.

On March 3, the ACB sleuths trapped Maruti Bhalkar, an executive engineer with the PWD, posted at Sangli while he was accepting Rs 5 lakh bribe from a civil contractor. The ACB conducted a search at his residence at Kolhapur on May 5. Assets worth Rs 1.22 crore were found.

The assets included Rs 18 lakh worth fixed deposits, Rs 57 lakh term deposits with co-op societies, LIC policies worth Rs 15 lakh and property investments worth Rs 37 lakh.

A search at his official residence at Sangli led to the discovery of more assets worth Rs 90 lakh.

A district health officer and a district health supervisor at Beed were trapped by the ACB while accepting Rs 30,000 bribe from a (government) doctor couple for releasing their arrears following the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission salary in the health department.