Crorepati peon among graft champions

In Gujarat’s capital, Gandhinagar, a peon with the Gujarat Water Resources Development Corporation (GWRDC) Ltd has been found to be owning seven properties — three flats, an office space and three land plots — and two cars. These assets are valued at Rs 1.18 crore on paper, while their market value is pegged at multiple crores.

The Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered five cases of disproportionate assets (DA) in Gandhinagar, Rajkot and Sabarkantha, for a total value of Rs 14.17 crore.

ACB officials said Hasmukh Rawal, a peon with GWRDC, was found to have assets disproportionate by Rs 1.18 crore after scrutiny of his sources of income and properties bought between April 2004 and March 2016.
In another case, Bharatgiri Goswami, associated with the HR department of GSPC, is named in a DA case of Rs 11.56 crore, an amount 2,489.89% of his income.

“Goswami was found to own an apartment in Akshar Apartments and a plot in Sector 1 at Gandhinagar, another plot at Kanva Society in Koba, seven pieces of farmland in Pethapur and a piece of farmland in Alampur near Gandhinagar. We have taken into consideration the period from 2004 to 2015 for the assessment,” said an ACB official.

Sources said that Goswami has left the government organization to join a corporate house.

The ACB’s Sabarkantha unit on Friday registered a case against Prakashchandra Patel, field assistant (land acquisition) with Gujarat Land Development Corporation, Himmatnagar for DA of Rs 33.09 lakh, which is 157.35% more than his income for the period between 2008 and 2015.

The ACB team of Rajkot (rural) filed a complaint against Anilkumar Makadia, deputy mamlatdar at Dhoraji. Investigators said Makadia was found to have assets 97.9% greater, at Rs 40.66 lakh, against his known sources of income. Another team in Rajkot city registered a case against Chandrika Vadher, former principal of Dharmendrasinhji College in Rajkot for DA of Rs 68.98 lakh, which is 83% more than her income. Vadher was trapped in a corruption case in August 2016 after which an inquiry was started against her.

ACB officials said that these cases took place on the basis of secret investigations carried out by various field teams.