Mumbai : For senior revenue official, Subhash Balchand Katte, it was a different kind of hat-trick. In last two decades, he was caught red handed while accepting bribes on three occasions. After the first trap, he was acquitted owing to lack of evidence, in the second trap, the case is pending before a special judge, while after the third trap, he has been remanded to judicial custody.
A senior ACB official told sources that on March 22, 1996, Katte was trapped while accepting a bribe of Rs 400 from a complainant, who had urged him to mention on his land records that he has taken loan from financial institutions. Then an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against him, however, on October 3, 2003, he was acquitted owing to lack of adequate evidence.
On February 15, 2014, Katte was caught red handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 2000. Then he had demanded money for submitting a favourable report for a survey of the road under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. An offence under the prevention of corruption act, 1988 was registered against him and the case is pending before the Special Judge, Beed.
On September 5, 2018, he was again trapped in his office while accepting a bribe of Rs 2000 from a ration shop owner. Katte had demanded the bribe for submitting a positive report on inspection of the ration shop in Beed district. For the first time an offence under the amended Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018 has been registered against Katte. The amended act provides that the trial should be completed on a day-today basis and that it should conclude in two years. If there is delay, then the presiding officer will have to record the reasons for the delay.
Further, the new law provides for a minimum imprisonment of three years, which may extend to seven years, along with fine.
A senior IPS officer said the amendment to the prevention of corruption act, 2018 will go a long way in a time bound disposal of cases. The amendment provides that the trial should be conducted on a day-today basis and that it should be concluded in two years. In the event the trial is not completed within the specified period, it can get two extensions of six months, but then the reasons for delay will have to be recorded in writing,” he said.