Corruption in Palghar: Sub-divisional magistrate had won best govt employee award
Shivaji Davbhat, the 46-year-old sub-divisional magistrate in Palghar was arrested on Thursday for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs50 lakh had been given the ‘Best Government Employee’ award on August 15 this year. Tribal development minister Vishnu Savra who is also the guardian minister of Palghar, had presented him with the award.mumbai Updated: Nov 26, 2016 00:30 IST
Shivaji Davbhat, the 46-year-old sub-divisional magistrate in Palghar was arrested on Thursday for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs50 lakh had been given the ‘Best Government Employee’ award on August 15 this year. Tribal development minister Vishnu Savra who is also the guardian minister of Palghar, had presented him with the award.
“My father has colon cancer but even then Davbhat demanded Rs 50 lakh as bribe from me,” said the land owner whose complaint led to the arrest of the sub-divisional magistrate of Palghar and two others by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), on Thursday.
The complainant had approached the ACB three months ago and it was on Thursday when the officials caught Davbhat, 46, deputy tehsildar Satish Manivade, 57, and Davbhat’s driver Jayesh Patil, 25, while accepting the bribe in his office.
A trap was laid by the ACB according to which the complainant handed over Rs50 lakh (Rs3 lakh in demonetised Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes and the rest Rs47 lakh in fake currency) to Patil in the corridor of the magistrate’s office who later handed it to Davbhat. All the three accused were produced before the Vasai court and have been remanded to police custody till November 28. The suspension orders of Davbhat and Manivade would be issued on Monday by the state government, said sources.
According to the complainant, who owns a vast ancestral property in Boisar, he was involved with a property dispute with a relative since 1964 and the case was pending before Davbhat’s court in Palghar. On several occasions, Davbhat had threatened the complainant that he would reverse the land title (7/12 ownership extract) and the land would go to his opponent. He then demanded a bribe of Rs50 lakh bribe to rule in his favour, claimed the complainant. “I told him that my father is suffering from colon cancer and I have been taking care of his medical expenses, but Davbhat did not lower the amount.”
The Thane branch of the ACB would be attaching Davbhat’s properties in Ahmednagar andl calculate the unaccounted cash found in his possession, said the deputy superintendent of police. “The three accused will be detained in the ACB jail in Thane,” he added. A relative of Davbhat who lives in Ulhasnagar based relative is also being probed for being his agent. He might be called for questioning, said sources from the ACB.
Suspension orders on Monday
Meanwhile, after receiving the ACB report, Manukumar Srivastava, IAS, principal secretary, revenue and forest would be issuing the suspension order to Davbhat. Meanwhile Prabhakar Deshmukh, the divisional commissioner at Konkan Bhavan would be issuing the same to Maniwade on November 28, claimed sources from the revenue department. The third accused, Patil used to work on a contractual basis with the sub-divisional magistrate and his contract would be cancelled with immediate effect, said the source.