Investigators from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) are probing if the Avadi special tahsildar and surveyors were using the bank account of the mother of one of the women ‘employed’ in the office to deposit the ill-gotten money.
The DVAC team stumbled upon the deposit details during a raid at the office of V Sridharan, a special tahsildar (town survey and settlement) Avadi, on October 10. During the raid, they also seized unaccounted cash of Rs 89,060 from the possession of the official.
The vigilance search was carried out after complaints from public that government officials, including the special tahsildar and surveyors, were demanding bribe for completing various works.
The DVAC team found two private persons, both women, employed in the office, who told the investigators that they were paid Rs 10,000 as salary by the surveyors.
When the investigators searched one of the women’s bag, they found the bank deposit receipt for Rs 2 lakh. When inquired, the woman claimed it was the share from the sale of a land in Gopalapuram that was deposited in her mother’s account.
“As the explanation was not satisfactory, passbook of the account was seized for further inquiry, as it was suspected that the bribe collected from the public was being deposited in the bank account in the name of some benami,” the DVAC FIR noted.
During the next round of searches, the police team found Rs 42,700 in the pant pocket of special tahsildar Sridharan, who had no explanation for the money in his possession. “But he claimed that Rs 130 found in his purse was his own money and it was returned to him,” DVAC said.
Later, when they searched Sridharan’s car, the DVAC team found Rs 46,360 in cash in a laptop bag, which also had a new iPhone, two mobile phones and a Samsung tablet. As the special tahsildar claimed that those were gifts from his friends, all the four electronic gadgets were returned to him, the FIR noted. A case under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered against the official.