HYDERABAD: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths on Thursday arrested three persons, including a driver of Mahabubabad Member of Parliament Maloth Kavitha (TRS), while accepting an alleged bribe of Rs 1 lakh in New Delhi. CBI has booked a case of extortion, criminal conspiracy and attempt to bribe a public official.
CBI said the arrested accused Rajib Bhattacharya, Shubangi Gupta and driver Durgesh Kumar were caught taking bribe from one Manmeet Singh Lamba. The trio was caught at the official residence of MP Kavitha at Saraswati Apartments in New Delhi.
CBI alleged that the three accused demanded Rs 5 lakh bribe to ensure Lamba’s under-construction house was not demolished. The accused had claimed that the construction did not meet many norms and that they would complain to the municipal authorities if they were not bribed. Finally, they settled for Rs 1 lakh.
Rajib and Shubangi claimed they were PA and coordinator of the TRS MP, but Kavitha denied any links with them. CBI, after receiving a complaint from Lamba, a resident of New Delhi’s New Gupta Colony, laid a trap for the accused.
Rajib introduced himself to Lamba as the MP’s PA and demanded bribe to influence officials of Municipal Corporation of Delhi to ensure they did not demolish the latter’s house. They also threatened that if issues were not settled and money not paid, they would ensure Lamba’s house was demolished. CBI apart from naming the accused also named ‘other unknown public servants’ as accused.
TRS MP Kavitha told TOI, “CBI trap happened in the compound of Saraswati block. My quarter is in it. Durgesh Kumar, a native of Uttar Pradesh, is my car driver. I have given him the servant quarters. So, my quarter keys are also with him.”
“I don’t have any personal assistants in Delhi. I don’t know the other two named by CBI. I manage things in Delhi through my PS and PA from Hyderabad and Mahabubabad. I don’t leave my car with Durgesh. The car is kept with a friend in Gurugram when I’m not in Delhi.”
“Durgesh has been working with me for the past five to six months. I left Delhi after Parliament session on March 24. I am now in Karimnagar, currently returning from Kondagattu. The driver didn’t call me in the past few days. CBI also didn’t ask me anything so far,” the MP added.