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Mumbai coroner caught taking bribe
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | September 11, 2004 21:37 IST
Mumbai's Anti-Corruption Bureau has arrested, and released, a coroner in Cooper Hospital who wanted to make money on unclaimed bodies.
Medical Officer, Mortuary, Dr Raja Marathe had demanded money from former municipal councillor Nicholas Almeda for disposal of unclaimed bodies.
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Almeda said, "He demanded Rs 10,000 from me. I asked him when a nongovernmental organisation from Kolhapur, Maharashtra, did not pay money to dispose off bodies, why should I?"
"He also told me that his department wanted to buy some things for the mortuary. I told him it was the hospital's job. Why should I give money for that? But he used to call me regularly, and so I decided to approach ACB."
Almeda went to ACB on September 9 and lodged a complaint against Marathe. After that, in the presence of ACB officials, he negotiated with Marathe and the amount finally came down to Rs 4,000.
ACB officials caught Marathe red-handed when he was accepting money from Almeda on Friday.
Almeda said, "After arresting Marathe, ACB let him go to home late night. I don't understand. After trapping him, why and how did the ACB release him so easily?"
Till August 26, Cooper Hospital had 48 unclaimed bodies at its mortuary. One among them was of Vicky Malhotra -- very few bodies are identified.
On August 27, NGO Param Dham Seva Sanstha cremated 17 bodies after getting a no-objection certificate from the police.
On that day Marathe told rediff.com: "The police are fully responsible for an unclaimed bodies disposal. We keep the body after post-mortem for a few days. If the police do not come forward to collect it, we send them reminders. But often they are reluctant to take the bodies away."
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