The police clerk who stole reward money from hundreds of cops has been granted bail after she informed the court that she has returned the reward money to the winning cops.
Reward money stolen
mid-day had reported last month that the accused Pooja Bhalerao siphoned off `1.39 lakh that was supposed to be distributed as reward money to the best performing cops in the Local Arms Unit.
This fraud took place between 2012 and 2016, when she was posted at the rewards desk of the Naigaon Local Arms Unit headquarters. Police rewards range from `100 to `15,000 in exceptional cases, and the total stolen booty is expected to run into lakhs.
On September 27, she appeared before the Sessions Court for her anticipatory bail application hearing. She told the court that she stolen `1.39 lakh (as per the FIR), which she returned via RTGS. She also gave an assurance that she would appear whenever the police need her statement or presence for the investigation. Following this, the court granted her bail.
She is charged under Sections 406, 420, 465 of the IPC for theft and cheating.
The case is currently under the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which added Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) to the list of charges.
Removed from post
Bhalerao is currently posted at the office of the additional commissioner for the south region. She has been removed from reward duty.
No. of transactions she had made
Rs 1.39 lakh
Amount she has returned
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