DDA scam ‘whistle-blower’ in custody, officials under scanner (Lead)

January 12th, 2009 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) A man who blew the lid off the Delhi Development Authority’s latest housing scam was Monday sent to eight days in police custody, while the Delhi Police put senior civic officials under scanner and searched various premises for clues to the fraud.Economic Offences Wing (EOW) sleuths presented ‘whistle-blower’ Deepak Kumar before the Rohini district court, which sent him to eight-day police custody. Kumar was arrested Sunday for his alleged role in the irregularities in the allotment of 5,000-odd flats in December.

The court also granted the police permission for searches at his office in Janakpuri area of west Delhi.

Kumar’s counsel moved his bail application, but the court turned it down.

The police said Deepak, a law graduate, went to Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan and along with Lakshmi Narayan Meena, a sacked bank employee who has already been arrested and in police custody till Jan 17, collected information of over 200 villagers.

The two allegedly passed the details to some west Delhi-based real estate agents, the police said.

The agents applied for flats with fraudulently obtained details and on the basis of forged documents. The villagers neither paid any money and nor were they aware of the applications or kept in the loop.

The police argued before the court that Deepak’s custody was needed to take him to Jhunjhunu to ascertain the identity of some people and to verify documents.

Meena has already been taken to the Rajasthan village for investigations.

Meena and Kumar have been arrested under provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with cheating by impersonation, inducing delivery of property, forgery and using as genuine a forged document.

The police have recovered blank ICICI Bank loan application forms for DDA flats, a list of 366 applicants mentioning particulars of the reserved Scheduled Tribe category running into 18 sheets and 22 pay-in slips with names of various people, the prosecution said.

The prosecution’s case is that some fictitious applications were made in the names of some people belonging to the Scheduled Tribes category, particularly from Rajasthan.

Deepak had differences with the real estate agents over the share of money and he along with Udit Raj, former revenue services officer and activist, filed a police complaint at the Palam police station, the police said.

In his complaint, Deepak alleged that Rakesh Aggarwal, Bhaskar (one name), Vijay Kumar, Suresh Chaudhary and Rakesh Grover had fradulently filed applications under the reserved categories of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes and they had threatened him with life.

“Deepak Kumar planned to reveal the details and file complaints through others. He thought that he might get away with all his wrongdoings and could become a witness and at the same time implicate others,” said a senior police officer.

“Now we are looking for people he has named. We will also take him to Rajasthan, but now we are looking for some big fishes,” said the officer.

Officials said such irregularities could not have taken place without the involvement of some DDA officials. “We are also questioning them. And more arrests are likely,” said the official.

Udit Raj came to Deepak’s defence Monday and said: “Had Deepak not informed the police and me, the scam would not have been unearthed. The police are trying to save their skin.”

“Deepak should be made an approver and the entire matter should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” he said.

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