J&K: ACB arrest drug control officer for demanding and accepting bribe in Handwara

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Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) of J&K arrested drug control officer Handwara red-handed for demanding and accepting a bribe for releasing seized drugs in Kupwara district.

ACB received a written complaint from complainant alleging therein that he is a pharmaceutical distributor by profession and had a valid license to sell stock and distribute drugs and medicines.

On November 2, 2023 drug inspector identified as Ishtiyaq Ahmed Baba took some medicines sold by him at Hachmarg Tarathpora, then he issued a notice to him and asked for his licence.

The complainant on November 7, 2023 went to his office at Bumhama Kupwara and showed his license which the officer declined to accept as a valid license and demanded Rs 10000 from him, on which the complainant argued that he was not doing anything illegal and why should he pay a bribe.

The drug inspector threatened him that he would get his license canceled if he did not pay him a bribe.

As the complainant was against payment of any bribe, he accordingly approached ACB Baramulla with a written complaint requesting for legal action against the drug inspector for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 8000 and demanding more bribe of Rs 2000 from him for releasing his seized medicines.

Immediately on receipt of the complaint, a discreet verification was conducted which revealed that the drug inspector had seized some medicines from the complainant and on the pretext of releasing them he already took a bribe of Rs 8000 from the complainant on November 9, 2023, and was demanding more bribe of Rs 2000 from him for releasing his seized medicines.

The probe conducted reveals that prima facie offenses U/S 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 are made out against the accused Public servant for accepting a bribe from the complainant for releasing his seized medicines.

As such, case FIR No. 12/2023 U/S 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (as amended in 2018) was registered at P/S ACB Baramulla against Drug Control Officer Handwara and investigations were initiated.

During investigations said officer was caught red-handed while demanding the remaining amount of Rs 2000 from the complainant.

He was immediately taken into custody after completing all legal formalities and was also presented before the court at Baramulla which remanded him to police custody.

Meanwhile, searches were also conducted at his residence situated at Bemina Hamdania Colony during which cash amount of Rs 2 Lakh was also recovered which was also seized.

Further investigations are going on, the ACB statement said.

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