Mumbai Local

Town planner held in ACB ‘reverse trap’

A Class I officer was arrested on Thursday night in what the Anti-Corruption Bureau calls a ‘reverse trap’: usually, a trap would result in a government official being arrested for accepting a bribe from a citizen; in this case it was a government official being caught attempting to bribe another government official. Searches at Mr Reddy’s residence have already revealed his ownership of three flats currently valued at over a crore of rupees, as well as cash and valuables, officials said.

According to ACB officials, the accused has been identified as YS Reddy, Deputy Director, Town Planning of the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC).

Officials said that there were several allegations of graft against him that had been made by residents of the Vasai-Virar belt over the last few months, and the local police as well as the Municipal Corporation were looking into them. The complainant in the case was a corporator with the VVMC, and one of the people conducting the inquiries. Earlier this month, Mr Reddy allegedly approached the complainant and offered to pay him Rs one crore in cash to the complainant in several instalments in exchange for not taking the inquiry further. The complainant approached the ACB on April 16 this year to bring the matter to the agency’s notice.

“We conducted preliminary inquiries into the complainant’s allegations, and by April 26, we got evidence confirming that Reddy was indeed offering to bribe him. We then set about laying a trap,” said an ACB officer. Acting on the ACB’s instructions, the complainant contacted Reddy and expressed willingness to accept the bribe he was offering. A meeting was fixed for Thursday so that the first instalment of Rs 25,000 could be paid. On Thursday night, Reddy was arrested at the Wine and Dine Hotel on the Ghodbunder Road in Thane after he gave the bribe amount to the complainant.

An officer said, “A search of Reddy’s Nallasopara residence has unearthed evidence to indicate that he owns three flats, including his current residence. We have also found Rs 21.68 lakh in cash in his Nallasopara residence and valuables worth Rs 5.39 lakh.”

The ACB is currently searching the two other flats and his ancestral residence in Hyderabad. Once the searches are complete, the ACB will compare his assets with his income to check if there are grounds for a disproportionate assets investigation.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:14:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/town-planner-held-in-acb-reverse-trap/article8539759.ece

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