We want to get to bottom of DDA scam: Delhi Police chief (Lead)January 16th, 2009 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal Friday said the enquiries in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) scam are in the initial stage and they want to “get to the bottom of the case” before making a recommendation whether the allotments should be cancelled. “We are systematically investigating the case and are going step by step. We want to get to the bottom of the case. We are probing it from all angles,” Dadwal told reporters here.
The draw for over 5,200 flats ranging in cost from Rs.700,000 to Rs.7.7 million took place Dec 16.
The Delhi Police started investigating the case after a man who was allotted a flat in the draw of lots told the police that he had neither applied for a DDA flat nor had a permanent account number (PAN) card.
Four people have been arrested in the case till now including a retired DDA employee.
Asked if the Delhi Police would recommend the cancellation of the allotment, Dadwal said: “Once we have the clear picture and the investigations are complete, we will make a recommendation to the DDA.”
Asked why the Delhi Police didn’t take any action despite having prior information, the commissioner said they did not receive any complaint.
Meanwhile, a team of Delhi Police’s elite Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which is investigating the case, Friday rushed to Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr after the arrested ex-official of DDA said that he had used details of people from that district to apply for flats under the reserved category.
“We have sent a team to Bulandshahr after getting further leads in the case from accused M.L. Gautam,” a senior police officer said.
According to the police, Gautam, 62, had filed over 1,200 applications under categories reserved for Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (SC), and 40 flats were allocated against these.
Gautam, who retired from the DDA’s telephone exchange department in 2005, was arrested Thursday and a city court remanded him to eight-day police custody.
He has admitted that 40 flats were allotted on the applications he filed by fraudulently obtaining the details of applicants.
Most of the people on whose names he applied for flats hail from Bulandshahr. Gautam is being touted as the brain behind the scam.
So far EOW has made four arrests. Gautam and a Dwarka based real estate agent Raju Ram were arrested Thursday.
According to the police, Ram gave Rs.900,000 to Gautam to apply for 150 flats under the reserved category before the allotment. He obtained two post-dated cheques of Rs.450,000 as security.
Deepak Kumar, a law graduate who is said to have blown the lid on the scam, was arrested Sunday. The first one to be arrested was Laxmi Narayan Meena from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu.
According to the police, Gautam’s name cropped up during the interrogation of Kumar, who was working for direct selling agents for two banks.
According to the police, Gautam befriended Kumar - both are residents of west Delhi’s Paschim Vihar - during morning walks.
Kumar reportedly told Gautam that he was applying for flats in the reserved SC category. Gautam 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, the police said.
Kumar went to Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan and along with Lakshmi Narayan Meena collected information of over 200 villagers for making false applications, the police said.
According to police sources, Deepak Kumar, Gautam and Suresh Meena, absconding real estate agent, had together filed over 2,000 applications.
The police said that all the accused had together invested Rs.6 million in the scam, of which Suresh Meena alone had invested Rs.3 million.