A senior social security assistant employed with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was on Friday sentenced by a special court to four-years of rigorous imprisonment for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs. 5,000 from a man who had lost his job and wanted to withdraw his provident fund.
The complaint was lodged in Oct 2015 by Gajanan Athawale, a jewellery unit worker whose Andheri-based company had closed the previous year. Athawale had made three applications to the EPFO to fully or partly withdraw his provident fund and had received messages that these were rejected.
The worker had then received a missed call from a number and called back. On the other end was Sujit Kumar Saha, who worked as a social security assistant at the EPFO. He asked Athawale to come to the PF office in Kandivili. Athawale went and Sinha asked him to fill a form and then demanded Rs. 7,000 as bribe for early processing of his work. Athawale negotiated and agreed for Rs. 5,000. However, he did not want to pay the bribe and approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The bureau laid a trap and he was caught accepting the bribe of Rs. 5,000 in an envelope. Sinha had asked him not to bring the money openly.
Special CBI judge AS Sayyad also imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 on Sinha. The Vasai resident had been on bail.
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