DAVP files case against 282 newspapers

A case was registered on the basis of a complaint given by R C Joshi, who is now an additional director general in DAVP but was a director when the matter came to the fore.

PTI
New Delhi, Publish Date: Apr 23 2018 1:04AM | Updated Date: Apr 23 2018 1:04AM
DAVP files case against 282 newspapersFile Photo

Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), the nodal agency for central government advertisements, has filed a case against 282 newspapers that allegedly furnished incomplete details and usurped government funds to get advertisements, police said today.

A case was registered on the basis of a complaint given by R C Joshi, who is now an additional director general in DAVP but was a director when the matter came to the fore. 

Initially, the complaint was submitted to south district's Lodhi Colony police station but subsequently the matter was transferred to the Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW).   

Following this, an inquiry was initiated and a case was registered on April 19 by the EOW. In December 2016, a joint team of RNI (Registrar of Newspapers for India) and DAVP undertook on-the-spot verification of eight printing presses in Lucknow and Delhi.

"On the basis of verification reports, it is confirmed that the printing presses were either not operational or had printing capacity much less than printing order claimed by the owner/printer/publisher of the newspapers," said the agency in its complaint.

The DAVP also claimed in its complaint to the EOW that from the record of empanelled newspapers they have, it was found that 282 publications declared that they were published from these printing presses.

"None of these publications informed DAVP or RNI about stopping of publication, change of printers or change of circulation barring a few. As a result, they kept on receiving government advertisements and usurped government funds of several lakhs (sic)," it said.

The agency alleged that all the 282 newspapers printed in these printing presses deliberately submitted false information regarding their printing presses and inflated their circulation to DAVP to get government advertisements on higher rates.

The DAVP said that in 2015-16, close to Rs 1.95 crore and in 2016-17, close to Rs 1.19 crore was disbursed to these publishers.   

A senior police officer said they have registered a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy in the matter following a preliminary inquiry.

"It is going to be a cumbersome investigation verifying antecedents of 282 publications. Our teams will be visiting Lucknow where many printing presses whose verification was carried out by the DAVP are located," he added. 

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