ACB books several persons in fraudulent HMV licences case

ACB books several persons in fraudulent HMV licences case
Representational Photo

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Sunday said it has registered a case against several persons, including some officials of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) here, for illegally issuing Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) licences to ineligible candidates for alleged pecuniary gains.

The case was registered after a joint surprise check wasconducted in the RTO, Jammu, on the basis of a source report that officers inleague with brokers or touts issue HMV driving licences to ineligiblecandidates against huge monetary considerations ranging from Rs 40,000 to Rs50,000 per licence, the ACB said in a statement here.

It said an FIR under various sections of the J&KPrevention of Corruption Act and the Ranbir Penal Code was registered againstthe then junior assistant in-charge licence section, Rajesh Jamwal, thebeneficiary and others for "fabricating and manipulating" the digitalrecords, and illegally issuing HMV licences by sheer abuse of their officialpositions.

It was also alleged that the concerned officials edit andmanipulate digital date pertaining to the aspirants in such a way that itreflects their earlier Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) licences as HMV licences inthe database, the ACB said.

Subsequently, the touts apply on their behalf for issuanceof duplicate licence on varied reasons, like loss or obliteration, and in thisway editing already made in the system paves way for issuance of the upgradedversion of the licence without requiring the aspirants to go through theprescribed procedure for entitlement to such upgraded licences, it said.

The ACB said the source report referred to a particular caseregarding issuance of one such licence in favour of one Ashok Kumar Sawhney.

"During joint surprise check, it was found that theendorsement for HMV transport licence shown to have been made on July 10, 2012,in respect of driving licence of Sawhney was not genuine," it said.

It emerged during probe, the ACB said, that Sawhney hadapplied for the post of driver in Relief and Rehabilitation Organization(Kashmir division) in pursuance to the Service Selection Recruitment Board(SSRB) advertisement for which hill driving licence was a pre-requisite.

"Though he was not having such licence at the time ofadvertisement, he subsequently got his LMV licence endorsed to transport onJuly 16, 2013," the statement added.

The ACB said it was revealed that the SSRB, after completionof required formalities, forwarded the selection list of three drivers to thecommissioner secretary to government revenue department, civil secretariat,Srinagar, which included the name of Sawhney too.

However, the recommendations were kept withheld subject toclarification with regard to date of endorsement for transport and itsvalidity, it said.

"The suspect, in the meanwhile, managed to get his dateof endorsement fraudulently edited so as to show it as July 10, 2017, insteadof July 16, 2013, as it came to fore that he had earlier worked as an agent inthe RTO, Jammu. Besides being familiar with the working of the said office, hewas also known to its officers or officials," the ACB said.

In 2017, Sawhney approached Jamwal who, by abusing hisofficial position, dishonestly and fraudulently edited the date of endorsementon his transport licence for ensuring his selection as driver therebybuttressing the allegations regarding fraudulent editing, it said.

The ACB said it also surfaced during probe that same modusoperandi is being adopted in a routine process by the employees or the RTO,Jammu.There is every reason to believe that more suchinstances may surface during investigation, it added.

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