AAP MLA appears before ACB in bribery case
New Delhi. Aam Aadmi Party MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi was on Thursday arrested by Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch for allegedly taking bribe in lieu of getting a councilor election ticket. Appeared before the Anti-Corruption Branch).
The ACB had on Tuesday arrested Tripathi’s brother-in-law and two of his associates for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 90 lakh to arrange a ticket for the wife of an AAP worker in the civic polls. A senior ACB official said Tripathi was asked to appear before the Anti-Corruption Branch on Thursday morning and his questioning is on.
An official statement released on Wednesday said that the alleged bribery case came to light on Monday when a person named Gopal Khari approached the ACB with his complaint. Khari claimed that he has been associated with AAP since 2014 as an active worker.
The ACB had said that Khari had met Model Town MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi on Wednesday last and requested him to get an AAP ticket for the corporator election from Ward No. 69 of Kamla Nagar for his wife. According to the ACB, Tripathi had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 90 lakh in exchange for the ticket, after which Khari paid him Rs 35 lakh. According to the complaint, Khari also gave Rs 20 lakh to AAP MLA Rajesh Gupta at the behest of Tripathi. It claimed that Khari had told Tripathi that he would pay the remaining amount after getting the ticket.
However, Khari’s name did not figure in the list of candidates released by AAP on Sunday, according to the ACB. According to the complaint, Tripathi’s brother-in-law Om Singh later contacted Khari and assured him that he would be given a ticket in the next election. According to the complaint, Singh also offered to return the bribe money to Khari.
According to the ACB, on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, they laid a trap at Khari’s house and arrested Singh and his associates – Shiv Shankar Pandey and Prince Raghuvanshi, who had come to return Rs 33 lakh taken by Tripathi to Khari.
The ACB said Singh, Pandey and Raghuvanshi were arrested under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). According to the ACB, Pandey is the brother-in-law of AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi.
According to the ACB, the complainant has also produced audio and video recordings of the alleged conversation that took place during the payment and withdrawal of the bribe amount. The anti-corruption branch said that investigation is on to ascertain the entire matter and collect evidence.