Monday, May 08, 2017

ACB arrests information commission staffer for demanding bribe

Firstpost: Nashik: Monday, May 08, 2017.
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Saturday arrested an assistant desk officer of state information commission (Nashik bench) for asking for a bribe. The ACB arrested Ravindra Sonar (34), who is also the administrative desk officer in the commission, red-handed when he was taking a bribe of Rs 10,000.
"The desk officer first called the complainant who is a principal of Lion's Nutan Vidya Mandir, Dhule, saying that she is being fined Rs 25,000 for not providing information. The complainant said that she had provided all the information. However, Sonar insisted that the information was not given and threatened to fine her when he did not even have the power to do so," said Sunil Gamurde, deputy superintendent of police, ACB, Dhule.
Gamurde added, "He then sought a bribe on May 4 and asked her or someone she knew to meet him. When her husband met him, he said that Rs 15,000 be paid to him to escape the penalty under RTI," said Gamurde. As per the RTI Act, a public information officer can be fined a maximum amount of Rs 25,000 if he fails to provide information or gives misleading information, or denies giving information. The fine, however, can be levied only by a state information commissioner.
"He then settled for Rs 10,000 which he asked to be given to him. The complainant approached us and informed us about this. We spoke to our seniors and a trap was laid on the ground floor near the entrance of the building that has the state information commission. He was taken into custody at around 11 am when we caught him red-handed while taking the money from the complainant and then arrested him by 7 pm. He will now be produced in a special ACB court," added Gamurde.