In a move bound to shake government employees in their seats, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption arrested Vellore Corporation Commissioner T Kumar for taking a bribe of Rs 20,000.
From April to June last year, the local body outsourced manpower for a dengue eradication programme from Sri Raghavendra & Co, which is run by a man named T Balaji. Once his work was done, the corporation had to pay him Rs 10,90,200 for the work. But when he went to collect his payment, the commissioner demanded that he give him 2% of the money in order to get the fund that he was due.
"The commissioner wanted Rs 22,000 and Balaji initially haggled and agreed to pay Rs.20,000," says an officer in the DVAC. "But for some reason he changed his mind and gave a complaint on Wednesday against the commissioner," he explains.
What followed next was an elaborate plan, that involved dipping currency notes in chemicals and sending them with Balaji to the commissioner's office. As soon Kumar took the notes, officers of the DVAC stormed into the cabin.
A phenolphthalein test was conducted on the spot to confirm whether the commissioner received the cash. The test result was positive and he was arrested in the presence of two witnesses - two government employees from different departments.
The DVAC even searched the Commissioner's house before registering a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption act.
"The advantage we had was that the complainant was unwavering. His mind was made up and that helped conduct the entire operation," says the DVAC official.