Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police today said that a businessman, who had charged a senior official with demanding bribe from him, was under mental pressure and had also given a written clarification in this regard.
"Abhishek Gupta was called for interrogation this morning and he told us that he had taken a loan of Rs 1 crore from banks and other sources for opening a petrol pump and had to pay Rs 1 lakh instalment monthly," Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said. "He said that he is unemployed and his mental condition is not strong and had wrongly taken the name of BJP leaders for influencing senior officials...he has also given a written explanation after which Abhishek Gupta has been handed over to his grandfather," the SSP said.
The police had acted against the Lucknow-based businessman after a complaint by the UP BJP office that he was putting pressure on bureaucrats, dropping names of the party's office-bearers to get his work done.
But, the opposition Samawadi Party has questioned why the original bribery allegation against IAS officer S P Goyal, who is principal secretary to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, is not being probed.
Gupta had earlier written to Governor Ram Naik, alleging that the IAS officer had demanded a bribe to clear a file relating to his petrol pump.
The governor, in turn, wrote to Adityanath about the complaint.
"Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar to inform the state government about the factual status in the entire episode pertaining to Abhishek Gupta, who had wanted to install a petrol pump in Hardoi district," a state government spokesperson said.
In his letter to Adityanath, which also surfaced on social media, Naik asked the chief minister to take appropriate action over the complaint against his principal secretary. Gupta accused Goyal of demanding Rs 25 lakh as bribe for providing land to widen a road leading to his petrol pump at Raiso in Hardoi district, the governor said in his letter. A copy of Naik's April 30 letter to Adityanath was sent to complainant Gupta as well.
Gupta had e-mailed his complaint to the governor on April 18, saying an oil company had approved the petrol pump and he wanted land for widening a road leading to it. It said an application for this was pending before Goyal, and this had delayed the pump's opening. Goyal said that he will reject the file if he wasnt paid Rs 25 lakh, according to the businessman. I said that I am not in a position to pay since I have already taken a loan. I had tried to record his conversation. He saw it and scolded me and told me to leave the place," the businessman complained.
But the ruling BJP sought police action against the businessman himself.
Bharat Dikshit, the in-charge of BJP's state headquarters, yesterday wrote to the Lucknow SSP seeking an FIR against Gupta.
Dikshit accused Gupta of pressuring officers to get inappropriate work, by falsely taking the names of BJP office bearers.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation. He expressed surprise over the police "quickly detaining" the complainant rather than showing alacrity in probing his allegation that he was asked for a bribe. He said the same sections of the IPC were applicable to those who demand or offer a bribe. PTI