Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Arthur Road jail chief’s wealth touches 2 crore

The Arthur Road jail, where Vasudev Barkule is now kept after his arrest in a graft case

S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: An Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) raid on Arthur Road jail superintendent Vasudev Barkule’s ancestral home in Nanded on Tuesday resulted in the recovery of assets and cash that added Rs 55 lakh to his wealth.  The total haul from the ACB investigation into a bribery case against Barkule has been Rs 2 crore so far.
    Barkule has been kept in an isolated cell which was earlier used by the security guards of executed Pakistani gunman, Ajmal Kasab. The jail constables who used to be posted for security in different barracks on Barkule’s order are now monitoring him.
    ACB officials led by NV Deshmukh have been camping in Nanded since Barkule’s arrest in the corruption case last week, but could not conduct the search operations earlier as a result of the election in Nanded.
    In Barkule’s house at Tajnagar in Nanded alone, the police found Rs 2.31 lakh in cash, fixed deposits of Rs 25 lakh, a fixed deposit of Rs 10.50 lakh in his wife’s name
and gold ornaments worth Rs 18 lakh.
 “We are still searching and are yet to calculate the value of properties spread elsewhere,” an officer said.   The officer said a case of disproportionate assets had been registered against Barkule.
    Barkule and deputy superintendent Pradeep Pathrikar were caught accepting a bribe of Rs 35,000 from a candidate appearing for the jailor’s exam early this month.
    In the city, the police found Rs 40 lakh in cash from Barkule’s jail residence, besides gold, savings and FDs in banks amounting to more than Rs 1 crore.
    Now in jail, Barkule has refused to give an application for home-made food.
    “He is saying the jail food is healthy and hygienic and he would prefer having the same food which is prepared by the inmates for prisoners. Barkule’s official residence is just 100 metres from his cell,” an officer said.
    Barkule’s wife and children live at his residence. “Even if his family want to meet him, they will have to go and register themselves outside the prison and come in the queue like common people and meet him for a few minutes,” the officer said.

The Times of India, April 23, 2014

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