Hyderabad: Keshampet Tahsildar V. Lavanya, who has been arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a bribery case, held back 11 passbooks of farmers as they could not pay the bribe amount she demanded, according to the ACB. Out of the 11, four date back to 2018.
A complaint filed by a farmer named Mamidipally Bhaskar, against village revenue officer (VRO) M. Antaiah, blew the lid off the corruption. Tahsildar Lavanya had demanded a bribe of Rs 8 lakh to update online the complainant's land admeasuring 9.07 acres.
A source told Deccan Chronicle, "In the case of the complainant Mamidi-pally Bhaskar, the officials had deliberately removed land documents that were online and in order to re-upload it, officer Lavanya through VRO Antaiah demanded Rs 8 lakh bribe from the farmer. Besides this particular case, specific inputs were received against Lavanya for demanding bribes from farmers for different official favours."
While recovering the cash, the ACB found 11 passbooks of farmers; these are supposed to be issued to farmers and contain relevant details about the land the farmer owns. Four of them date back to 2018 and the oldest of all was a passbook issued on February 21, 2018 belonging to a woman farmer. The information received was that Ms Lavanya was minting money by withholding the passbooks, the source said.
The ACB found cash stored in a haphazard manner: money was found in open shelves and under clothes. The searches were carried out in the presence of Ms Lavanya's mother-in-law. Her husband, a superintendent rank officer with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is absconding. Ms Lavanya and Mr Antaiah were arrested under Prevention of Corruption Act.