Returning officer caught taking bribe from candidate's husband

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Mehsana (Gujarat), Feb 19 (PTI) The Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau allegedly caught a returning officer of a panchayat election while taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the husband of a candidate in Mehsana district for approving her nomination, an official said on Friday.

Based on a complaint, the ACB laid a trap at Visnagar circuit house and caught Rajendra Brahmbhatt (57) allegedly while he was taking the bribe on Thursday evening, the official said.

The accused, working in the office of Mehsana district registrar, was appointed as the returning officer for the upcoming district panchayat polls, he said.

According to an ACB release, the complainant's wife is contesting from Savala seat on a Congress ticket and submitted her nomination form to Brahmbhatt a few days ago.

Rival candidates raised some objections and filed an application seeking to cancel the candidature of the complainant's wife, it was stated.

On getting an intimation, the woman submitted written explanations to defend her nomination, following which the accused called the complainant and demanded Rs 1 lakh bribe for approving the nomination based on the explanations, according to the release.

The elections for 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats are scheduled on February 28. PTI COR PJT ARU CK