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SC quota: Ex DDA staffer got 38 flats

With the arrest of former DDA employee M L Gautam (64) on Thursday, the economic offences wing (EOW) of Delhi Police claims
it has got hold of the brain behind the DDA housing scam. Reportedly also under the scanner is another retired DDA employee, of commissioner rank, who is said to be absconding.

According to the police, Gautam filed as many as 1,200 applications under the SC category, using forged documents of applicants mostly hailing from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh.

Police seized a visiting card from Gautam in which he claimed to be a DDA consultant, an identity he had been using ever since his retirement from the DDA telephone exchange department in 2004. Gautam had an office at Milansar Apartment in Paschim Vihar and lived in another flat in the same locality. Several documents suggesting that the entire DDA scheme was hijacked by the property dealers with Gautam's help were also seized.

Based on Gautam and accused Deepak Kumar's statements, police also arrested Rajuram (30), a Dwarka-based property dealer, on Thursday. "Rajuram had given Rs 9 lakh in cash to Deepak and Gautam to apply in the scheme and with that money used to procure bank loans, nearly 150 forms were submitted under the reserved category," said additional CP (EOW) SBK Singh. All three were jointly interrogated by the police and reportedly confessed to their crime.

The police have also found that out of the 1,200 forms submitted by Gautam under the SC category, 38 flats were allotted to him. Gautam also revealed the name of several others who were involved. "He trained seven or eight men at his office in Paschim Vihar for several months and we are trying to trace them. Gautam's mobile number is also being scanned for more leads," said a senior police officer.

Meanwhile, Deepak told the police that he received the money from Rajuram on October 15, a day before the last date of submission of DDA forms. Deepak and Gautam gave two cheques of Rs 4.5 lakh each as security to Rajuram, which police have seized. "Since Deepak was working as a direct sales agent of two banks, he might have got the cheques from someone. We are trying to establish whose cheques were used to pay Rajuram," said a senior police officer of EOW.

Investigations have also revealed that absconding accused Suresh Kumar Meena invested Rs 30 lakh in the scam, which he got after selling his flat in Rohini. Another dealer, Vijay, invested as well. Sources claimed that around Rs 65-70 lakh were put in for the purpose of procuring bank loans by the scamsters who submitted 1,400 forms under the reserve category.

Meanwhile, policemen camping in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan returned to Delhi on Thursday and said they had unearthed several incriminating documents at the instance of Laxmi Narayan Meena. The seven successful allottees in Jhunjhunu have also stated to the police that after the DDA draw result, Suresh Meena and Laxmi Narayan came to their homes and took away documents signed by them.

The police said the role of other DDA officials was also under the scanner and they were examining the application forms seized from the accused and trying to ascertain whether the scamsters tried to apply through the general category as well. The forensic report on the software used in the DDA draw is awaited. A telefax number 011-26851999 is also being operated by the police to help the public inform them in case their details or documents have been misused.

Gautam and Kumar were known to each other as they were both residents of Paschim Vihar and met during morning walks. "Gautam apparently told Deepak it was wiser to apply in the reserved category. He also advised him to apply specifically in the ST category as chances of getting flats that way were high. He also promised to help as he knew a lot of people in DDA," a senior police official said.



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