Additional commissioner and registrar Manohar Bhagaji Tribhuvan (54) of the State Co-operation Department was on Monday evening caught red-handed by ACB officials, Pune unit, while accepting a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh from a chartered accountant near the Pune railway station.
Tribhuvan, in charge of inspection and election in the department, will be produced before a special court on Tuesday afternoon. Tribhuvan’s arrest has sent ripples across the co-operative department as he is ranked second in the department after the co-operative commissioner.
ACB superintendent of police Vishwas Pandhare said the complainant, Jaywant Baburao Chavan (65) of Satara, was a member of the panel of auditors at the state and divisional level, which audits cooperative societies and banks.
According to Pandhare, Tribhuvan was responsible for allotting auditing work to chartered accountants on the panel. He had allotted the work of auditing the Jankalyan Co-operative Credit Society in Karad to Chavan on May 14, 2009.
Pandhare said Chavan’s fee depended on the turnover of the co-operative society and in this case came to Rs 9 lakh.
“Tribhuvan would allegedly collect 30% of the auditor’s fee as commission for giving work to chartered accountants. Tribhuvan allegedly demanded Rs 2.7 lakh from Chavan which he was supposed to receive after submitting the audit report,” Pandhare said.
“On Monday, Tribhuvan called Chavan and asked him to bring the money to his office in Central Building. But Chavan filed a case against him with the ACB. Chavan then visited Tribhuvan’s office around 6 pm, but Tribhuvan asked him to wait downstairs for him. After some time Tribhuvan came downstairs, sat in Chavan’s car and asked him stop the vehicle near Hotel Woodland. After collecting the bribe, he got out of the car and was caught redhanded by the ACB officials who had followed Chavan’s car,” Pandhare said.