State govt official arrested for accepting bribe



Nashik: Anti-Corruption Bureau officials caught a state government official while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 11 lakh here, police said Friday.

The divisional joint registrar of state government's cooperation department, Gautam Bhalerao, was arrested last night for allegedly taking the bribe, DySP, ACB, R R Budhwant said.

Last week, Bhalerao had issued notices to three Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank's (NDCC) directors - Prashant Hiray, Devidas Pingale, and Yashwant Bhoye - asking them why their directorship should not disqualified since they had defaulted in paying dues of the bank.

Later, he met Prashant's son and NDCC's chairman Advay Hiray and allegedly demanded bribe to prevent action against him and his father.

Advay had then lodged a complaint against Bhalerao with ACB.

Last night, Bhalerao allegedly demanded Rs 11 lakh from Advay. The ACB, which had laid a trap based on Advay's complaint, caught Bhalerao while allegedly accepting the bribe.

Subsequently, Bhalerao was arrested and ACB conducted searches at his residence which continued till the wee hours today, Budhwant said.

The accused will be produced in a local court later today, he added.

Prashant Hiray, an NCP leader, is the son of former Maharashtra Health and Transport Minister Pushpatai Hiray.

PTI