Srinagar: Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday arrested ARTO Kupwara, motor vehicle inspectors and others for alleged corrupt practices.
“A surprise check was conducted by Anti Corruption Bureau into the allegation that ARTO Kupwara has illegally planted one person namely Bilal Ahmad Sheikh of Vilgam Kupwara to run all the affairs of his office like Driving Test, Replacement of Driving Licence, Fitness, Learning Licence, Audit Approval, Registration and Print Card for minting money by illegal means,” a spokesman of ACB said.
The surprise check was conducted at the site of driving test (Nagri Kupwara) on August 25 in association with Executive Magistrate 1st Class Handwara.
“During surprise check accused Bilal Ahmad Sheikh was found actively involved in conducting the driving tests with the officials of Assistant Regional Transport Office Kupwara.
Search of his personal Car (No. JK01R-4373) on spot led to the recovery of 138 original driving licences besides various other incriminating material like provisional appointment slips for driving tests, application reference slips, application for addition of new class of vehicle, journey sheets of vehicles, transport plans, learners licence, etc.”
Consequently, the spokesman said, a case (FIR No.09/2021) was registered in police station ACB Baramulla under section 7(c) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and section 120-B of Indian Penal Code against the members of driving testing trial board Kupwara and the “broker”.
During investigation, the ACB conducted searches of residential premises of Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi (ARTO Kupwara) at Nowshera Boniyar Baramulla and residential premises of Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (broker) at Vilgam Kupwara on September 1. During searches, cash of Rs 15,03,000 and Rs 1,35,500 was recovered from the houses of broker and the ARTO respectively, besides various incriminating material, the spokesman said.
“Investigation revealed that there is a complete nexus among accused officers of Transport Department and the private Agents (Brokers) to fleece the general public,” the spokesman said in a statement to GNS.
“To break this unholy nexus, accused Mohammad Mukhtar Sofi (Assistant Regional Transport Officer Kupwara), Khursheed Ahmad Kanna (Motor Vehicle Inspector), Abdul Hamid Bhat (Motor Vehicle Inspector) and Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Broker) were arrested by Anti Corruption Bureau Baramulla for custodial interrogation,” the spokesman said, adding, “Further investigation of the case is going on.” (GNS)