Top pollution board official held for graft in Himachal : The Tribune India

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Top pollution board official held for graft in Himachal

Sought Rs35K from hospital owner for STP authorisation

Top pollution board official held for graft in Himachal

Photo for representation only

Tribune News Service

Solan, March 31

A team of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) today caught Dr Tej Bahadur Singh, Chief Scientific Officer of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 35,000 at his office in Parwanoo.

The team, led by Inspector Sanjeev Kumar, arrested the officer at his office at Sector 4 in Parwanoo around 4 am today. The officer was working in the board’s Central lab at Parwanoo.

“The officer had demanded a bribe of Rs 35,000 from a hospital owner at Una for giving consent authorisation for installing a sewage treatment plant (STP). The owner had been directed to install the requisite machinery from a particular vendor but he failed to do so, following which he was pressurised to shell out money,” said bureau DSP Anil Mehta, who supervised the operation.

The hospital owner had applied for the authorisation in 2021 but the officer kept dilly-dallying over the matter though all formalities had been fulfilled. The bureau sleuths were also ascertaining the involvement of others in the case.

A case under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the officer at Una and a probe is underway, said Mehta. The hospital owner had lodged a complaint at the bureau’s Una office. The accused officer is due to retire in June. He indulged in dubious deal though a system of online clearances is in place.

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