INDIA: Pune Additional Divisional Commissioner Anil Ganpatrao Ramod, who had been demanding bribes from farmers to approve their claims for higher compensation for the land acquired for public utility projects, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and was sent to custody until June 13.
Ramod, who was arrested by the CBI after conducting raids on his premises, including his residence at Queen’s Garden in Baner, on Friday, was remanded to CBI custody by special judge A. S. Waghmare at the Shivaji Nagar District Court on Saturday.
The accused had demanded Rs. 10 lakh from the complainant for the increased compensation of around Rs. 1.25 crore and finally settled for Rs. 8 lakh. He was nabbed red-handed while accepting the bribe near SGS Mall by the CBI after laying a trap.
During the searches at his official and residential premises at three locations in Pune, the CBI recovered Rs 6.54 crore in cash. The cash was in Rs. 2000 currency notes.
Besides, the documents related to 14 immovable properties in his and his family’s names and other incriminating documents were recovered, the CBI statement read.
Ramod was an arbitrator for Pune, Satara, and Solapur Districts for the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and was looking after the land acquisition law-related cases of farmers from Satara and Solapur Districts of Maharashtra.
A case was registered based on a complaint from a person who represented the farmers whose land was acquired. The complainant was representing the farmers from the villages seeking higher compensation for their land acquired before the Office of Additional Divisional Commissioner under the National Highways Act 1956 (amended in 2013).
Ramod had demanded a bribe equivalent to 10 percent of the compensation and had kept many matters pending when the farmers refused to agree. The arrest of Ramod, a promoted IAS officer, has sent shock waves through the bureaucracy since he carried considerable clout among government officers.
He was with the Maharashtra Civil Service and was promoted to the IAS rank against the vacancy determined by the Government of India under Regulation 5(1) in consultation with the Maharashtra Government for the select list of 2018.