A state government official soon to be chargesheeted in a case of accepting bribe of Rs7.5 lakh has been appointed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) as their commercial officer as well as the public relations officer (PRO).
Interestingly, while the move has led to widespread resentment among the officials of the loss-making corporation, MSRDC chairman Jaydatt Kshirsagar said he was unaware of the background of Vijay Kalam Patil, the officer concerned.
Kalam Patil, who earned a name for himself in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as the next demolition man after GR Khairnar, was allegedly caught accepting a bribe by the sleuths of the anti-corruption bureau on September 11, 2009.
He was working as joint chief executive officer of the Repair and Reconstruction (RR) Board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) then.
He was nabbed after ACB officials led a trap following complaints of corruption by him as well as Vijay Pandhre, a community development deputy officer in the authority.
According to top ACB officials, the bureau has been investigating the case for the past six months.
“Kalam Patil and Pandhre were booked inside the Mhada headquarters. A Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) developer from Pratiksha Nagar in Sion had approached us stating that two senior officers from Mhada were demanding huge sums from him to reduce the tax levied on him and also to extend the deadline of developing a plot in Sion.
The complainant first approached Pandhre for getting the tax reduced. Pandhre further asked him to get in touch with Kalam Patil,” said a top ACB official.
He further said the bureau has enough evidence against Kalam Patil to nab him in the case.
“We will be completing the investigations by this month end and will approach the state government seeking permission to file a charge sheet sanctions against him,” added the official.
When contacted, additional commissioner of police, ACB, Niket Kaushik said, “For filing a charge sheet in the case we had to take sanction from the department concerned. In this case, we would be taking sanction from the concerned department by the end of this month.”
Kshirsagar, however, said: “I confirm that Kalam Patil has been appointed at MSRDC; however, I am unaware of his background.
Our corporation wanted an official with a background of the revenue department. Subsequently we sent a requisition to the state government.” In spite of repeated attempts, Kalam Patil was not available for comment.