MUMBAI: There is very little about Pawan Mehra to distinguish him from the average self-employed professional. He runs a small eatery serving sandwiches and other snacks at Harchand Compound in Vikhroli. But what makes him stand apart is his refusal to put up with corruption.
For the second month in a row, Mehra has had a civic official arrested for demanding a bribe. On the basis of a complaint filed by him, an officer from the Vikhroli fire station was caught by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on Thursday for demanding a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Mehra for a regular no-objection certificate (NOC).
It's clearly becoming a habit for Mehra: Last month, he got a BMC officer in charge of supervising shops and other commercial units booked for demanding a bribe in lieu of a licence. "I will not pay a bribe as a principle. I think we're paying enough taxes to demand good service," Mehra said. "And I'm going to complain again if someone demands money."
The fire station officer, Jay Prakash Shetty (44), was caught in his office at Vikhroli fire station while accepting the money. According to the ACB, when Mehra approached him for an NOC for his eatery, Shetty demanded Rs 8,000.
Mehra convinced Shetty that he would pay him Rs 5,000 at his office and a trap was laid. After arresting Shetty, the ACB also carried out a search of his house. The sleuths found that Shetty owned an Alto car and a flat at Gorai. Shetty will be produced before ACB special judge Sapna Doshi on Friday.
Mehra had similarly got a senior BMC inspector from M Ward, Hanumant Pawar, arrested for demanding Rs 20,000.