Traffic police Inspector Sheetal Malte, who was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials on Thursday in a bribery case has told the ACB that Rs 4.81 lakh cash which were found in ten envelopes from her office belonged to a friend who wanted to meet some medical expenditures of a relative. The ACB officials said that Malte had not been to give any substantial material to back her claims. The ACB would be sending their report to the Mumbai Traffic Police department to carry out a departmental enquiry against inspector Malte and constable Tushar Chavan.
"When we asked Malte about the cash found from her office, she told us that the cash belonged to a friend of hers for meeting medical expenses of a relative, but she could not give any documentary proof to back her claims and also why the money was kept in her office and in different envelopes. We are not buying this claim of the officer and are probing further. We would also be sending our report to the traffic department so that department enquiry can be initiated against the police officials caught in our case," said an ACB official.
The ACB officials had arrested Malte and constable Chavan from the Azad Maidan traffic division for allegedly demanding bribe from a travel bus operator for not taking action against his buses being parked under their jurisdiction. According to the ACB, the complainant runs a travel business and two of his buses are involved in ferrying MMRDA workers from Chembur to Cuffe Parade on a daily basis. As per the complainant, for the past two weeks, penalising action was being taken against both his buses by the traffic department. The complainant had met constable Chavan in this regard and the latter directed him to inspector Malte.
"The complainant had alleged that Malte had demanded Rs 2000 each per month, for allowing him to park his two buses in the jurisdiction of her traffic division. The victim then complained to the ACB on Tuesday in this regard. A verification exercise carried out by the ACB revealed that the accused public servants had settled for a bribe amount of Rs 1500 for each bus after negotiation," said an ACB official.
The ACB on Wednesday laid a trap and caught Chavan red-handed while accepting a Rs 3000 from the complainant on behalf of Malte. During a search of the inspector's office, the ACB found Rs 4.81 lakh kept in ten envelopes and seized the cash. Malte and Chavan were booked under section 7 (Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and have been arrested.
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