Pune: Judge Under Scanner In Bribery Case, Seeks Anticipatory Bail

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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, February 11, 2021: The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Pune unit, has arrested a woman for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 2.5 lakh, saying that the result of the case will be in favour of the complainant by ‘managing’ the court directly.

Though the arrested woman turned out to be an imposter, a judge of the Vadgaon Maval court has come under the scanner of the ACB. The judge was in contact with the arrested accused Shubhavari Bhalchandra Gaikwad (29), resident of Talegaon. The judge, a judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), has sought anticipatory bail from the Pune district and sessions court.

The court is yet to grant relief to the JMFC. “Applicant is a Judicial Officer. From the documents, what appears is that she was in contact with the main accused, namely, Shubhavari Gaikwad, who has been arrested in a trap laid by Anti¬≠ Corruption Bureau. Ongoing through the statement of the applicant annexed to the application, there appears a frequency of phone calls between herself and the main accused. The allegations are of very serious nature. Considering the nature of allegations and considering the overall facts of the case, no interim relief can be granted to the public servant, unless an opportunity of hearing is given to the State”, the district court stated in order while hearing the pre-arrest bail application of the JMFC.

According to ACB, Shubhavari impersonated as an employee of the court (identifying herself as Mhatre) and demanded the bribe of Rs 5 lakh from a milk businessman saying she would manage the pending case in the Vadgaon Maval Court and settle the case in his favour. Amul, the famous dairy cooperative society, has filed a case against the businessman after he did not return the milk cooling machine. Shubhavari called the businessman to settle this case. She had also made him speak to two persons saying they were judges.

However, the businessman approached the ACB which laid a trap and caught Shubhavari red-handed while accepting the bribe at Kivale phata on January 13. The bribe amount was brought down to Rs 2.5 lakh after negotiation.

Based on the complaint from the businessman, an FIR was registered against Shubhavari and other unidentified persons at Dehuroad police station. The case has been registered for offences under sections 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.