The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials has come across a unique modus-operandi that was used by one of the government officials from MMRDA to demand bribe from a person. The accused official used to write the bribe amount figure on piece of papers till the final bribe amount was decided. This was basically done to avoid getting in the radar of ACB officials. The agency had recently registered bribery case against three persons, including two senior MMRDA officials for allegedly demanding from a person to provide him allotment letter of his room from the MMRDA.
According to the ACB, the complainant in the case had a room at Rajaramwadi at Vile Parle, which was demolished for the airport expansion project. The victim's room was validated by the government and was allotted another room and in order to get the allotment letter of his room, the victim had been paying visits at the MMRDA office in Bandra. As per the victim, Shahaji Joshi (assistant social development officer) at the MMRDA had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 1.50 lakh from him in order to get his work done. Since the victim did not wanted to pay the bribe, he approached the NCB on November 17.
"When the victim had gone to meet Joshi in order to enquire about the room, Joshi then took out a piece of paper and wrote figure Rs 1.50 lakh on it. The victim then requested to lower the amount, after which Joshi took out another piece of paper and wrote Rs 1.30 lakh on it. After sustained request to lower the amount, Joshi took out another piece of paper and wrote Rs 1.20 lakh on it and said "final". The ACB then decided to lay a trap and told the victim to scratch his right ear as a signal once the money is accepted by the accused," said an ACB official.
He added, "A private person Jagdish Patil, who had met the victim to collect money on behalf of Joshi was then caught by the ACB on November 18. The ACB team then took Patil to Bandra office of Joshi where the latter was then caught red-handed while accepting the money from Patil. We are probing alleged role of another MMRDA officer Sangeeta Takle in this bribery case. Joshi had used a unique way to demand bribe by quoting bribe amounts on paper chits. This we feel is basically to avoid any suspicion."