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Maha Home dept official in ACB net while taking bribe

Maharashtra cabinet

Mumbai : An officer in Maharashtra Home department was today arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly taking Rs 5,000 bribe to recruit a candidate as a police constable, a senior official said.

“Deputy Secretary in Home department Sanjay Khedekar has been arrested by the ACB for demanding a bribe of Rs 5,000 for selecting a candidate as a police constable,” an official in the department said on the condition of anonymity.

The accused was caught red-handed by the ACB sleuths while accepting the bribe outside the Mantralaya gate, he said.

“The candidate was selected in 2014 but there was a case (against him) under section 325 of the IPC for voluntarily causing hurt. He was eventually acquitted and became eligible for recruitment after he made a presentation. Khedekar, however, demanded Rs 5,000 for inducting him following which he lodged a complaint with the ACB,” the official said.

The arrest comes days after a ‘personal aide’ of state Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse was arrested for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 30 crore in a land allotment case.

Meanwhile, Opposition Congress and the NCP took a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accusing him of being unable to handle corruption “blooming” in his tenure.

“First it was Khadse’s associate and now it is an official from the department which the Chief Minister heads. These arrests are only tip of the iceberg. Many cases are not reported. Devendra Fadnavis has been unable to cease the corruption blooming in his tenure,” Congress spokesperson Al-Nasser Zakaria said.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The CM earlier said there will be zero tolerance of corruption. Why is Fadnavis not amending the Lokayukta Act on the lines of Karnataka’s? This is because he knows that on doing so most of his Cabinet colleagues will go behind bars,” Malik alleged.

Recently, Khadse’s ‘PA’ Gajanan Patil was arrested by the ACB for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 30 crore from economist Ramesh Jadhav to transfer a piece of land at Nilje village in Kalyan to the complainant to set up an educational institution.

Khadse had later said Jadhav had a “tendency” to level corruption charges and that he would file a defamation suit against him for “maligning” his image.

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