Animal welfare officer gets three and half years RI for graft

New Delhi: An animal welfare department officer has been sentenced to three and a half years of rigorous imprisonment and slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 in a bribery case by a special CBI court in Ambala.

The Anti Corruption Branch of the agency in Chandigarh had registered a case against Madan Verma on the allegation that the accused demanded a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a complainant for allowing safe passage to his vehicles that were carrying animals to be sold off at the animal sale mandi (market), Ambala.

"He also threatened that, otherwise, their vehicles would be impounded. The accused directed the complainant to hand over the bribe money of Rs 5,000 to him on September five, 2006, at a tea-stall located on Narwana, Hisar Road after de-loading the animals at the mandi," CBI spokesperson said here today.

Accordingly, a trap was laid and accused was caught red handed while demanding and accepting bribe of Rs 5,000 from the complainant in the presence of independent witnesses, he said.

"The accused was honorary animal welfare officer of Animal Welfare Board of India. On the pretext of prevention of cruelty to animals, he used to stop vehicles to extort money," the officer said.