Probe to identify others involved in bribery case

A Revenue Inspector had allegedly demanded bribe from an entrepreneur for opening a bakery unit

The Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation will conduct an inquiry to identify other officials possibly involved in a case of demanding bribe from an entrepreneur.

The Local Self Government Department had on Saturday decided to suspend pending inquiry a Revenue Inspector who had allegedly demanded bribe from an entrepreneur who was planning to open a bakery manufacturing unit.

Revenue Inspector Sujith Kumar had allegedly demanded bribe from one Jenensen, who had in 2019 submitted an application to change the building classification from residential to commercial, to open a small bakery manufacturing unit. In the video clip that Jenensen had shared with media, the official can be seen demanding money for himself and shares for another official and two clerks.

“An inquiry has to be conducted and the complainant has to make a statement as to the identity of the other officials who have claimed to have demanded money. Their names are not specified in the video. It also needs to be enquired on what basis the health inspectors had carried out checks later,” said a Corporation official.

Meanwhile, the police inquiry into another case of corruption, involving embezzlement of funds meant for beneficiaries for educational and other purposes under a sub-office of the Department of Scheduled Caste Development functioning out of the city Corporation office, is progressing.

Senior Clerk U.R.Rahul, who was arrested on Thursday, was brought to the Corporation main office on Friday as part of evidence collection. Checks were carried out the next day at his residence in Kudappanakkunnu as well as his ancestral house.

The fraudulent activity came to light by chance in April this year when the parent of a possible beneficiary, who was marked as ineligible by the said official, found out later that the money was collected using the child’s records, but diverted into the field promoter’s account. Lakhs of rupees, diverted from deserving beneficiaries, is estimated to have been diverted into multiple benami accounts. The Scheduled Caste Development is also carrying out an audit on the funds under various schemes.

According to Corporation officials, the corruption in this case was made possible because of supervisory lapse. If the higher officials had carried out routine checks on whether the money had reached the beneficiary’s account, the senior clerk, the field promoter and other officials involved might not have been able to divert the funds unto other accounts.

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