For the first time in its history, Odisha vigilance has detected two cases of bribes taken through PhonePe and another through unnamed cheques.
In all three cases, private persons helping the government servants by taking bribe money in their PhonePe accounts have also been arrested, an official said on Tuesday.
The vigilance officials have arrested Karanjia tahsildar Charles Nayak while taking a bribe of Rs 12 lakh through two different blank cheques. This was the first case of a bribe Rs 12 lakhs by cheque mode, also highest bribe amount in a case, the official said.
The tahsildar demanded the bribe amount in the form of two blank cheques (without name of the payee) of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 2 lakh each, in order to release the compensation cheque of the complainant, he said.
Nayak has been arrested and will be forwarded to court of special judge, vigilance, Baripada, Mayurbhanj on Tuesday.
In another case, the vigilance has arrested Taruna Ranjan Nayak, working in the grievance redressal forum (GRF), Tata Power Central Odisha Distribution Limited (TPCODL), Bhubaneswar along with his associate Sailaza Muduli while demanding and accepting bribe Rs 10,000 from a complainant through PhonePe (digital mode).
They were caught while taking bribes on the PhonePe account of Muduli for processing the grievance application of the complainant in getting a new electricity connection to his residence, the vigilance official said.
In the third case, the vigilance has caught three officials of the minor irrigation division of Berhampur in Ganjam district and arrested them for demanding bribes of Rs 24,000.
The accused are two junior engineers — Prasanna Kumar Padhy & Dhirendra Kumar Panda, — and supervisor Ajaya Patra. For processing the file for a work, Panda was found taking Rs 10,000 cash while the supervisor Ajaya Patra previously accepted Rs 14,000 through Phonepe. Following the case, raids have been conducted in the properties of the three officials.
With the detection of bribe cases through digital mode, the anti-corruption wing of Odisha government, in a tweet said, “#Odisha #Vigilance is committed to take strong action against bribe takers and their facilitators. Remember, you aren’t safe when taking bribes through PhonePe. We will follow the digital footprints and come after you.”