Friday, August 03, 2007

Delhi land scam: Will there be any conclusion

The land scam in Delhi, where a poor guy made rich is picking up heat. For those who do not know, the canteen contractor of Delhi Vidhan Sabha, Ashok Malhotra was caught with an immense amount of money, something that no canteen contractor could ever make. What was the scam all about ? It was about the connivance of DDA officials with a man out to make money, and the people who were targeted were the poorest of the poor, slum dwellers.
Malhotra owns multiple houses, a large number of posh cars, and so on. And all out of corruption of the basest degree, through the creation of artificial documents with the cooperation of friendly (and presumably well treated DDA officials).

The CBI has recovered a number of incriminating documents suggesting connivance of officials at all levels within Delhi government and Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Though CBI officials remained tightlipped, they had made the aspect of larger conspiracy clear when they booked every politician’s favourite man Malhotra along with five DDA officials. A senior official said, "We will have to scrutinise the documents, including blank identity slips of Delhi administration, fake ration cards, official rubber stamps, original allotment letters of plots and registers maintaining details of sale of plot with amount before coming to any conclusion."
Under a DDA scheme, all slum-dwellers were supposed to be given a plot each (measuring 20.9 square metres) at Dheerpur, Phase-I in north Delhi. "However, the accused DDA officials allotted a number of these plots in the name of fictitious persons, using forged identity documents, allegedly at the behest of Malhotra, who subsequently sold these plots at exorbitant rates," said an official. According to the FIR, which was registered on July 24, the probe into the land scam began on the basis of information which revealed Malhotra’s nexus with DDA officials in grabbing the land worth crores of rupees. It was alleged that Malhotra entered into a criminal conspiracy with five DDA officials and filed applications for allotment of plots under the scheme using fictitious names, claiming to be erstwhile residents of Hudson Lines.

This is like stealing from the very poor, from slum-dwellers. Do these officials, supposedly to serve the citizens, have no shame. They deserve the punishment that they should get for such betrayal of jobs and their responsibility.
However, after seeing what happens in the Telgi scam, where a massive scam was portrayed and yet no official, politician, or policeman was sentenced, I really doubt whether something will happen in this case ? The Mumbai blasts case did sentence Govt customs and police for dereliction of duty and complicity, but that was an exceptional case.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 6:46 AM