Official acquitted in cooperative department bribery case

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A special court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has acquitted Hauserao Ramchandra Gawade, an official of the cooperative department, who was accused of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000. Special Judge Amit M Shete, in an order dated September 16, ruled in favor of Gawade, stating that the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the charges.
According to Special Public Prosecutor Sanjay B More, the complainant in the case worked at a travel agency and resided in a housing society in Mira Road. Upon returning from studying abroad in 2009, she discovered that her flat had been sealed due to pending maintenance dues. Gawade, the special recovery officer, informed her that she owed Rs 56,695 along with a 12 percent interest rate and additional charges. Allegedly, Gawade also demanded a bribe of Rs 10,000 to unseal the flat.
Refusing to pay the bribe, the complainant reported the incident to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which subsequently verified the demand and apprehended Gawade while he was allegedly accepting the bribe.
However, the court determined that the available evidence did not conclusively establish the demand for a bribe, giving the accused the benefit of the doubt.