Former DDA employee held in flat scam, probe widens

January 14th, 2009 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) A retired Delhi Development Authority (DDA) employee was detained Wednesday after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police found evidence against him in the irregularities in the allotment of over 5,000 flats.M.L. Gautam, who retired from the telephone department of the DDA in 2005, was held after his name cropped up in the interrogation of Deepak Kumar, who was arrested Sunday.

“We have gathered evidence against Gautam and he is being questioned,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) S.B.K. Singh.

According to the police, Gautam befriended Deepak - both lived in west Delhi’s Pashchim Vihar - during morning walks. Deepak, a law graduate who claims to have blown the lid off the scam, told Gautam that he was applying for flats in the reserved Scheduled Castes (SC) category.

But Gautam advised him that chances of getting a flat in Scheduled Tribes (ST) category were better and he should apply there. The duo came together and Gautam was also promised of some share of money, according to the police.

Kumar went to Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan and along with Lakshmi Narayan Meena, a sacked bank employee who is also in police custody, and collected information of over 200 villagers for making false applications, the police said.

The two allegedly passed the details to some west Delhi-based real estate agents. The agents applied for flats under the reserved categories with fraudulently obtained details and on the basis of forged documents, according to the police.

The villagers neither paid any money and nor were they aware of the applications.

The police said they had placed advertisements in newspapers in Rajasthan seeking information from people who might have been duped.

“Four people contacted us after the advertisements and said Meena had duped them. But they were not allotted any flat,” said a police officer.

Singh said they had received inputs of similar irregularities in the general category.

“We have received information that applications were filed in the general category after getting details of people from Jharkhand and northeastern states,” he said.

“We will verify it but we are first looking into the irregularities in the reserved categories. No team has been dispatched to Manipur or any other states. We have sought details of applications under the reserve categories,” he added.

Singh said some DDA officials were under the scanner but they would make any move only after collecting adequate evidence.

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