Former DDA employee got 40 flats, sent to police custody (Lead)

January 15th, 2009 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) A court here Thursday sent a retired Delhi Development Authority (DDA) employee to eight-day police custody in connection with irregularities in the allotment of 5,000 new flats in the city. He had allegedly managed to get 40 such flats fraudulently.The accused, M.L. Gautam, who was arrested earlier in the day, had filed over 1,200 applications under categories reserved for Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (SC), and 40 flats were allocated against these, police told the Rohini district court.

The sleuths of Delhi Police’s elite Economic Offences Wing (EOW) had detained Gautam, who retired from the DDA’s telephone exchange department in 2005, Wednesday. But after questioning him, they arrested him Thursday and produced him in court.

The court, while accepting the police plea, remanded Gautam in eight-day custody for further investigations.

Police say Gautam has admitted that 40 flats were allotted on the applications he filed by fraudulently obtaining the details of applicants. He said he himself arranged the funds required for filing the applications forms, the prosecution told the court.

It also informed the court that they were also looking for Suresh Kumar Meena, a real estate agent who worked for Gautam.

“Gautam was arrested after enough evidence surfaced against him. He was the one who arranged funds for filing applications under the reserved category,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) S.B.K. Singh.

Gautam is the third man arrested so far by the EOW after the detention of Lakshmi Narayan Meena, a sacked State Bank of India employee, and Deepak Kumar, who claims to have blown the lid off the scam.

Gautam’s name cropped up during the interrogation of Deepak Kumar.

According to police, Gautam befriended Deepak Kumar - both lived in west Delhi’s Paschim Vihar - during morning walks. Deepak Kumar, a law graduate, reportedly told Gautam that he was applying for flats in the reserved SC category. Gautam apparently advised him that the chances of getting a flat in the ST category were higher and he should apply there. Gautam was also promised some share of the money, police say.

Deepak Kumar went to Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan and along with Lakshmi Narayan Meena collected information of over 200 villagers for making false applications, police said.

According to police sources, Deepak Kumar, Gautam and Suresh Meena had together filed over 2,000 applications.

“We are inquiring into the source from where Gautam arranged the huge amount to file applications for flats under the reserved category. The role of some bank officials have also come under the scanner,” said a police officer.

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