Court acquits NMC employee charged with demanding and accepting bribe

A court in the city on Thursday acquitted an NMC employee who was charged with demanding and accepting bribe. The Special Judge A V Dixit acquitted the accused named Manohar Rathod on the ground that the prosecution “miserably” failed to prove its case against him.

According to prosecution, the accused Manohar Rathod was working in Estate Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation on the post of Assistant. A former Corporator Martin Mores had submitted a revised map of a construction to the accused for sanction in the year 2006. At that time, the accused had demanded Rs 1 lakh as bribe for the said job. Ultimately, the deal was settled at Rs 40,000. However, not willing to pay the bribe, Martin approached Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and lodged a complaint in this connection. Subsequently, the ACB, acting on the complaint, laid a trap on 14.9.2006 and nabbed the accused Rathod while accepting Rs 20,000 as the first instalment of the bribe amount red-handed.

The prosecution recorded statements of four witnesses including the complainant Martin Mores.

Arguing on behalf of accused, Adv Chandrashekhar Jaltare told the court that the complainant had framed the accused NMC employee deliberately. The complainant is in the habit of pressuring public servants by way of levelling fictitious allegations. Moreover, the evidence produced by the prosecution is false.

Adv Jaltare further argued that on the day of incident, the complainant Martin Mores deliberately placed Rs 20,000 on the table of the accused and asked him to accept the amount. At that time, the accused Rathod told Martin that the map has been forwarded for sanctioning and that he (Martin) should not keep the money on his (accused’s) table. As the accused was not accepting the money, the complainant kelt the money in a torn envelop and then signalled the ACB men who had laid a trap. When the ACB men rushed to nab the accused the complainant Martin, taking advantage of the situation, threw the envelop into a waste basket.

“Upon analysis of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, it is clear that prosecution has miserably failed to establish its theory that there was a demand of gratification. There is no cogent and convincing proof of any demand of gratification,” the Special Judge Dixit held. The court also held that the prosecution failed to establish that the amount received by the accused was in the nature of illegal gratification, bribe or demand and acquitted the accused Manohar Rathod.

APP Ajay Lambat represented the prosecution.