The president resident of the Sembu Panchayat near Gudiyattam was trapped and arrested on Friday for accepting a bribe of `4,500, from one of the beneficiaries of the Indira Awas Yojana scheme. The panchayat official was remanded in the Vellore Central Prison for Men after producing before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Vellore.
M Thandavam, a coolie and a resident of Sembedu, was one of the beneficiaries of the Central government’s free housing scheme. Under the scheme, `1.2 lakh had been released for Thandavam to construct a house. After he finished the construction of the house, he approached panchayat president R Ramesh (37) to release the fund of `5,700 under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and `4,412 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, for constructing a latrine.
However, Ramesh refused to release the two cheques, stating that Thandavam had not given him any money from the amount he had received for the construction of the house. He also demanded a bribe of `10,000. After Thandavam bargained, Ramesh agreed to reduce the bribe amount and settled for `4,500.
Thandavam lodged a complaint with the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Wing against Ramesh. The sleuths registered the complaint and laid a trap.
The minute Ramesh received the the chemical-coated currency, the team lead by Additional Superintendent of Police of DVAC M Balasubramanian arrested and registered a case against him.