Court acquits ex-MCD councillor, her husband in graft case

New Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) A former Congress MCD councillorand her husband have been acquitted by a special court of thealleged charge of demanding a bribe of over Rs 50,000 from aperson to allow him construct a house here. Special CBI Judge Sanjay Garg-I absolved Veena Saini,ex-councillor from East Nangloi constituency, and her husbandNaresh Saini, saying the prosecution has failed to prove itscase against them. "Prosecution has failed to prove that accused no. 2(Naresh) had demanded Rs 50,000 from the complainant for notdemolishing the structure raised by him on his four plots,"the court said. The court acquitted Naresh of charges under section 9(taking gratification for exercise of personal influence withpublic servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Veenaunder section 10 (punishment for abetment by public servant ofoffences defined in section 8 or 9) of the PC Act. The couple were arrested by CBI in May 2007 and latergranted bail by the court. While Naresh was arrested first when he was allegedlyaccepting Rs 25,000 as the first installment of the bribe, theformer councillor was picked up later. According to the CBI, a resident of Nangloi in West Delhihad sent a complaint to the agency alleging that Saini and herhusband were demanding Rs 51,600 from him as protection money. The complainant had said both of them had threatened thatthey would use their influence with the MCD and governmentofficials to harass him in constructing his house and usingthe sewerage connection, unless he paid up. The complainant pleaded with Veena’s husband to acceptthe first installment of Rs 25,000 at his office. It had alleged that initially, Rs one lakh was demanded,of which Rs 50,000 was for permitting construction on theplots and Rs 50,000 as sewer charges. The complainant wasthreatened that if he did not pay the bribe to Naresh, thesewer connection would be disrupted and the constructiondemolished. Later, Naresh settled the amount at Rs 51,600 and agreedto obtain first installment of Rs 25,000 in his office. During trial, the couple denied all allegations andclaimed that being a woman Municipal councillor, severalpersons had political rivalry with her, for which they wereimplicated. PTI SKVARC

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