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 the 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 individual household 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 and pleaded Ramesh to reduce the bribe amount, he settled for an amount of `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 to nab Ramesh red-handed. As per the direction of the DVAC personnel, the plaintiff handed over the chemical-coated currencies to Ramesh in the panchayat office at around noon on Friday.
The minute after Ramesh received the bribe, the team lead by Additional Superintendent of Police of DVAC M Balasubramanian arrested him and registered a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.
He was produced before the CJM court and remanded in the Vellore prison under judicial custody.