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Gurugram RTA corruption case: Transport inspector arrested from Punjab

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An inspector of the Haryana transport department was arrested from Punjab — he was visiting his home there — for his alleged role in perpetrating corruption at the Gurugram regional transport authority, police said on Friday.

According to police, Harbans Singh and two other officers were in a nexus with touts who took money from applicants seeking registration documents, permits, no-objection certificates and other documents of commercial vehicles. (Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

According to police, inspector Harbans Singh, posted in the Gurugram RTA, is the first officer to be arrested in the case after the chief minister’s flying squad conducted a raid at the Mini Secretariat premises on September 13, which led to the arrest of three touts who had in their possession 21 files of the RTA.

Investigators said Singh was brought back to Gurugram and was taken on remand for questioning after which he was sent to judicial custody on Wednesday.

They said Singh’s name cropped up in the case after three more touts were arrested in the course of investigation.

A senior police officer said Singh is one of three inspectors and a sub-inspector of the transport department posted in Gurugram RTA, whose names were disclosed by the arrested touts.

According to police, these officers were in a nexus with touts who took money from applicants seeking registration documents, permits, no-objection certificates and other documents of commercial vehicles.

“We are searching for three more officers who were still on the run. Raids were carried out at their residences and other probable locations,” he said.

Mukesh Kumar, assistant commissioner of police (city), the investigating officer in the case, said more details could not be divulged at present as investigation is ongoing.

“Several angles need to be probed. There are several touts besides officers who are yet to be arrested in this case,” he said.

Singh was one of five officers who had stopped coming to office after the raids. Later, on October 3, he along with eight more officers were placed under suspension as applicants created a ruckus as their files were not getting processed.

Meanwhile, a senior transport department official said six officers, all of inspector rank, have been temporarily posted at Gurugram RTA to manage the daily affairs and process files and applications.

“However, there is still a lot of pendency as scrutiny of documents is being carried out in a stern manner. No file or application is being processed until the vehicle owner reaches the office,” he said.

A newly posted officer at the Gurugram RTA said they are asking transport firm staff to submit an authorisation letter, their identity card as well as their salary slip before accepting files from their hands for processing. “It is to ensure that no tout is able to operate as middlemen,” he said.

A visitor to the RTA, Mahesh Kumar Sharma said he stood in queue for more than three hours on Thursday to submit files of three trucks of his firm as their permits are set to expire soon.

“When my turn arrived, the computer operator at the window asked for my identity card even though I had my company letter authorising me to submit the documents. I had to return without getting my work done as officials also sought my salary slip,” he said.

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