Chargesheet submitted against arrested circle officer, lat mandal

Assam bribery case

GUWAHATI, Nov 23: The state directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption on Tuesday submitted a chargesheet in a court against two arrested accused – a circle officer and a lat mandal of Thelamara Revenue Circle in central Assam’s Sonitpur district – who were booked recently in a bribery case.

Baranya Ranjan Barthakur, the then circle officer, Thelamara revenue circle and  Gulzar Hussain, lat mandal, were arrested in connection with the ACB (anti-corruption bureau) police station case (number 09/2021) under Section 120 B of IPC (read with) Sections 7(a)/12/13(2) of Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act 1988 (as amended in 2018).

The case was registered on September 27, 2021.

“The chargesheet has been submitted in the Court of the Special Judge on the 58th day, which is within the statutory period of 60 days. The chargesheet comprises 288 pages, including enclosures, and the case diary runs into 539 pages including connecting papers,” an official statement issued here said.

Twenty persons, including the complainants and other witnesses, who are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case or have taken part in investigation in some way or the other, have been examined and their statements have been recorded under Section 161 of Cr.P.C.

The statements of six witnesses were also recorded by the magistrate under Section 164 of Cr.P.C.

It may be mentioned that on the basis of a complaint, alleging demand of bribe, a trap was laid on September 27, 2021 by a team of the directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption in Guwahati. Hussain, the lat mandal, was thereafter caught red handed while taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from the complainant.

As part of the conspiracy, Hussain was threatening and harassing the complainants by falsely claiming that their names were included in the list of middlemen involved in dealings of land.

The arrested accused claimed to have prepared the list of such middlemen on the instruction of Barthakur for taking action against them. He had been demanding Rs eight lakh from the complainant as bribe for removing their names from the list and sparing them from ensuing legal action.

The tainted bribe money was recovered from the possession of Hussain at Bhangagarh here, in the presence of independent witnesses.

A case was registered thereafter and as the investigation revealed that the bribe was demanded by Hussain at the behest of Barthakur, the latter was arrested on October 2 from the Kahilipara area.

“Sufficient evidence-oral, documentary and technical – have been found against both the accused persons during investigation which establishes their involvement in the case,” the statement said.

The arrested accused, Barthakur has been charged under Sections 120B/420/506 of IPC and Sections 7(a)/12 of P.C. Act, 1988, whereas the other arrested accused, Hussain has been charged under Sections 120B/420/506 of IPC and Section 7(a) of P.C. Act, 1988.

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