CBI arrests FSSAI’s Assistant Director during exchange of bribe, recovers ₹37.3 lakh in cash

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an Assistant Director with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of ₹1.20 lakh in exchange for clearing pending bills of a private company, Reliable Analytical Laboratories Private Limited.

Searches conducted at the office and residential premises of the accused, Amol Jagtap, who is posted with the food regulator’s Mumbai office, led to the recovery of ₹37.3 lakh in cash, 45 grams of gold, documents pertaining to various immovable properties, and other incriminating documents.

A case was registered by the CBI against three accused, including the Assistant Director (Technical), and three private persons: namely, Director Vikas Bhardwaj, Senior Manager Harshal Chougule, and Gurunath Dubule, another representative of the Thane-based Reliable Analytical Laboratories Private Limited.

The complaint lodged with the agency alleged that FSSAI’s Assistant Director was working in connivance with several intermediaries, engaging in illegal and corrupt practices of demanding and accepting bribes from Food Business Operators (FBOs) and other interested parties for the dishonest discharge of public duty in his capacity as a public servant.

It was also alleged that the accused agreed to accept a bribe from the other accused, who worked as a Senior Manager with the private company, in exchange for clearing their pending bills.

CBI laid a trap and caught Amol Jagtap red-handed while accepting the bribe of ₹1.20 lakh from Harshal Chougule and Gurunath Dubule. All three accused involved in the exchange of bribes were arrested, followed by the arrest of Vikas Bhardwaj. All four accused have been remanded to CBI custody till May 8, while further probe in the case is continuing.

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