Gujarat: ACB nabs returning officer for ‘taking’ Rs 1 lakh bribe

An opposing candidate had filed an application to the State Election Commission, seeking the cancellation of the nomination of the complainant’s wife.

The Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has caught a returning officer for the zila panchayat elections in Mehsana district while allegedly accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe for not cancelling the nomination form of a candidate for the upcoming polls in Visnagar, police said.

According to a statement by the ACB, Rajendra Brahambhatt, an assistant officer (grade 1, division 3) under district registrar of milk cooperative societies in Mehsana, was held from a guesthouse in Visnagar area Thursday while allegedly accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe from a candidate’s husband.

“The complainant’s wife had filed nomination form for zila panchayat seat number 35 in Savala for the upcoming local body polls.

An opposing candidate had filed an application to the State Election Commission, seeking the cancellation of the nomination of the complainant’s wife.

After the complainant’s wife replied to the objections made by the opponent in writing, the accused assistant officer contacted a relative of the complainant and informed him that if they want the nomination form to be not cancelled, then a bribe of Rs 1 lakh be paid to him and separate bribe for his ‘saheb’. The accused officer also met the complainant face-to-face and demanded the bribe again. It was then that the complainant approached us and a trap was set up,” the ACB statement said. Brahambhatt was booked under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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