West Godavari: The Anti-Corruption Bureau of Andhra Pradesh has arrested a revenue inspector from West Godavari district for demanding Rs 3,000 from a poor woman to add her as a litigant in a land dispute. Accused Guntu Sowjanya Rani is among six revenue officials, including three Tahsildars, arrested in the past three months over corruption.
ACB officials said complainant Chodisetty Baby, 54, had lost her two sons and her husband died last month. Baby ekes out a living by tailoring and lives with her grandson. She owns around 15 cents of land near the Panchayat office at Bhimadole.
The property is caught in a dispute between Baby’s husband, a certain Bangaru Lakshmi, and a few others and a case is pending before the Civil Court in Eluru. Following her husband’s death, Baby was advised to obtain a family member certificate to get her name added as a party to the civil suit.
Officials said Baby submitted an application along with relevant documents at Mee-Seva centre on November 5. The staff uploaded the papers on the system and asked her to approach the Tahsildar’s office. When she went there, Guntu Sowjanya Rani demanded Rs5,000 to process the file and issue the certificate.
Sowjanya Rani brought down the amount to Rs 3,000 after Baby pleaded to him saying she was very poor and not in a position to pay any money. With Sowjanya Rani not relenting, a frustrated Baby approached the ACB officials. A trap was laid and the revenue inspector was caught red-handed accepting the money.