//2 Maharashtra officials booked for 26/7 fraud

2 Maharashtra officials booked for 26/7 fraud


MUMBAI: Two officials attached to the office of the deputy collector (encroachments) in Mulund were on Thursday arrested by the anti-corruption bureau of the Mumbai police. The duo, Prakash Waghmare and Kisan Nalawade, have been booked for pocketing cash meant for victims of last year's deluge.

The anti-corruption bureau (ACB) started investigations in the case after receiving an application from two Kurla-based activists in February. The activists, Santosh Pawar and Sanjay Tiwari, had demanded information from the collector's office under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Pawar then wrote to the ACB stating that the chawl where he stayed at Kajupada in Kurla was located at a height and no one in the neighbourhood had been affected by the flood. Yet, Rs 5,000 was falsely shown as having been disbursed to his father, Ranganath Pawar. A false panchnama was made and false signatures were shown on the receipt.

"Pawar and Tiwari toured the entire Kajupada area and met several locals," said DCP Vilas Tupe. "They managed to obtain affidavits from 125 residents in the area, some of whom had been given part payments." An ACB investigation showed that Rs 6.22 lakh had been shown as disbursed officially of which Rs 2.21 lakh had been misappropriated.

On Thursday, ACB sleuths conducted a raid on the office of the deputy collector (encroachments) and also raided the houses of the two accused. Waghmare is a bill clerk and lives at Dombivli while Nalawade is a senior clerk based at Nerul. Seven others are wanted in the case.

The two have been remanded to police custody till November 8. They have been booked under sections 13 (1) (C), read with 13 (2), of the Prevention of Corruption Act, besides various sections of the Indian Penal Code.