Graft with EMI touch: Corrupt Gujarat officials accepting bribes in ‘instalments’

Ahmedabad, Jun 6 (PTI) Corrupt government officials and middlemen in Gujarat have resorted to the method of demanding bribes in “instalments” with reports of at least 10 such instances taking place so far this year alone.

The state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) claimed on Thursday that this practice, although not new, continues to plague the system.

According to ACB Director Shamsher Singh, the modus operandi involves victims agreeing to pay the first instalment before the work is carried out, with subsequent payments expected upon completion of task.

Singh said this practice of taking bribes in “instalments” is not new and it has been going on since long.

“There is nothing new in it. Usually, the victim first agrees to give the first instalment before the work is done and then gives the second after the work is done. But sometimes, they change their mind and approach the ACB instead of giving the second or any subsequent instalment,” he explained.

In a notable case from March, individuals claiming to represent Gujarat GST officials solicited a bribe of Rs 21 lakh from a mobile shop owner in Ahmedabad.

The shop owner, coerced into paying Rs 2 lakh as the initial instalment, eventually sought help from the ACB after which a successful trap led to the arrest of one of the culprits accepting the first payment.

In April, a deputy sarpanch and a taluka panchayat member in Surat were caught red-handed demanding Rs 80,000 from a farmer. They were caught on April 4 while accepting the first instalment of Rs 35,000, an ACB release said.

Similarly, a police sub-inspector from the state CID Crime in Gandhinagar was arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs 40,000, with part of the sum taken as an advance.

Moreover, a royalty inspector of the state Mines and Minerals department in Narmada district agreed to split a Rs 1 lakh bribe into two instalments for a truck driver, leading to the middleman’s arrest while receiving the initial payment of Rs 60,000 on April 26.

The ACB continues its efforts to combat such corrupt practices in Gujarat, urging citizens to report any instances of bribery or extortion.

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