Barely 12 days after the ACB caught an executive engineer of Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) with Rs 15 lakh to be allegedly given to the JMC CEO, the ACB arrested Ram Kishore Maheshwari, an official of the Rajasthan Municipal Services, posted as commissioner at the Jodhpur Municipal Corporation “red handed” while taking a bribe of Rs 35,000 at his residence on Friday night. Two contractual employees of the corporation, who had acted as the mediator for the deal, have also been arrested.
“Maheshwari had taken this money through two contractual employees of the Jodhpur civic body in return for signing of a long pending file of the complainant,” acting DIG (ACB) Narpat Singh Rathore said, adding that all three were arrested and produced in court on Saturday, which sent them to judicial custody.
The action has been taken following a complaint by one Gopal Kishan Bhati, who said he had been doing the rounds of the JMC for a change of name for a property purchased by his sister in 1984, but to no avail.”Last week, when Bhati met Maheshwari, the former advised him to contact two contractual staff of the JMC identified as Jitendra and Mohd. Sajid. When he contacted them, they asked for a bribe of Rs 35,000, which was verified by us,” Rathore said.
Following the complaint, the ACB made Bhati to contact the bribe takers who called him at Paota Circle asking him to bring the money at night. “The moment, he handed over the money to them, which they deliberately did not touch, we caught them and asked them to talk to Maheshwari, which contained some code words,” Rathore said.
Maheshwari then called them over the phone at his residence nearby where the ACB sleuths caught him after he signed on Bhati’s file immediately after receiving the money from his henchmen.
During a search of his residence, the ACB sleuths found 63 official files kept by Bhati. “We seized one file related to the case and handed over rest of the files to the corporation officials,” Rathore said.
Besides, Maheshwari has been found to be the owner of two palatial houses in Jodhpur along with a third one recently sold out, one huge plot in Barmer, 7 bank accounts with lockers and 24 insurance policies worth Rs 34 lakh, 50 gm gold and 1.5 kg silver. “We expect more jewellery to be recovered in lockers, which would be opened after his son’s arrival,” Rathore added.
It may be recalled that an LDC of the JMC was also caught “red handed” while taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 in his office. He had taken the bribe from an engineering firm for preparing the file and bills for a payment.