Bathinda, May 19
In a significant development, the voice samples of AAP Bathinda Rural MLA Amit Rattan Kotfatta and his associate Rashim Garg have matched.
The duo was arrested in February for allegedly seeking a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from a sarpanch in lieu of releasing Rs 25 lakh development grant.
Sources in the Vigilance Bureau (VB) said the voice analysis report was received on May 16.
The sources said complainant Prithpal Kumar had recorded the entire conversation on his mobile phone. These recordings were forwarded to the forensic lab by the VB to unravel the truth.
The VB had registered a case against Garg after he was arrested red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 4 lakh at the Circuit House in Bathinda on February 16. A few days later, Kotfatta was also arrested in this case.
According to the chargesheet, the development grant of Rs 25 lakh was issued by the government under the 15th Finance Commission during 2022-23 for Ghuda village. Garg had demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from the sarpanch of Ghuda village.
During the investigation, it came to the fore that the bribe was taken on the directions of the MLA.
While Kotfatta is lodged in Patiala jail, Garg, who is a Samana-based businessman, is lodged in the Bathinda Central Jail.