The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on Thursday arrested three Revenue department officials attached to a village office near Thiruvananthapuram on the charge of demanding cash to “smoothen” the transfer the registry of ancestral of property in the name of one of its inheritors.
Early this week, Vamadevan, a non-resident Indian, had complained to S.S. Firoz, the Superintendent of Police, VACB, Southern Range, that the Revenue officials of the Pazhekunnumel Panchayat office in Kilimanoor taluk had demanded Rs.30,000 as bribe for mutating a two-acre plot in the name of his wife, Seetha.
In his statement, he told the anti-corruption enforcers that he had already paid a considerable amount to the Revenue officials concerned when they came to inspect the plot of land. However, the officials had demanded the extra amount to “facilitate” the transfer of registry.
The VACB registered a first information report on the basis of his statement and gave Vamadevan marked currency notes to the value of Rs.20,000, to be handed over to the Revenue officials.
A VACB team headed by Deputy Superintendents of Police, Reji Jacob and R. Sukeshan, were on a stake-out outside the village office. The VACB arrested one Rajesh Kumar, Village Assistant, and Rafi, Village Man, when they allegedly accepted the marked notes from Vamadevan.
Mr. Reji said the VACB team, acting on intelligence, also inspected the scooter of the Village Officer, one Anil Lal of Attingal. He said the investigators found Rs.25,000 in bundles ranging from Rs.3,000 to Rs 8,000 from the vehicle’s glove compartment. The agency had earlier received information that corrupt officials at the village office asked those seeking their service to drop bribes in the glove compartments or side-boxes of their two wheelers parked in front of the office.
The VACB found that the village office had conducted eight transactions on Thursday. They suspect that the amount found on Anil’s scooter was the bribe he received for the transactions. The VACB has named Anil Lal as the prime accused in the corruption case.