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  Court acquits MLA in 14-year-old bribe case

Court acquits MLA in 14-year-old bribe case

Published : Nov 9, 2016, 6:52 am IST
Updated : Nov 9, 2016, 6:52 am IST

A Thane special court on Tuesday acquitted BJP legislator Narendra Mehta, who represents Mira-Bhayandar, in a 14-year-old case related to allegations that he had accepted a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a l

Anjali Kamble
 Anjali Kamble

A Thane special court on Tuesday acquitted BJP legislator Narendra Mehta, who represents Mira-Bhayandar, in a 14-year-old case related to allegations that he had accepted a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a local contractor as the then corporator.

The Thane unit of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) had in December 2002 arrested Mehta for allegedly accepting Rs 20,000 from a contractor, Hanumant Malusare, in lieu of protection for an illegal construction. The ACB had booked Mehta under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Seven years later, in 2010, the district court had discharged Mehta from the case on the ground that elected representatives do not come under the category of public servants under the act.

Malusare challenged the order in the Bombay HC, which held that elected representatives were to be considered as public servants under the act. The case was sent back to the district court for a re-trial. Mehta later unsuccessfully challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court.

The Thane special court on Tuesday acquitted him of the charges as the prosecution failed to establish the credibility of the accusations levelled against him by the complainant.

“I am stunned. Today’s acquittal order will definitely be challenged in a superior court.” Mr Malusare said.

Meanwhile, Mehta said, “I had full faith in our judiciary and ultimately the truth has prevailed.”