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DDA scam: Were PAN cards forged

The Mumbai-based National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) has replied to the queries of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on how
PAN cards were allotted in bulk in different villages in Rajasthan between July and August last year under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. The replies were sought as a part of the ongoing probe in the DDA flat scam.

A senior officer probing the scam said: "So far, we have received the replies. We are still awaiting some more replies in cases of allotments under general and Scheduled Caste categories.'' The PAN cards were seized from arrested accused, including alleged kingpin ML Gautam and whistleblower-turned-accused Deepak Kumar.

Sources said that the reports obtained from NSDL has pointed to forgery in several cases and they are still in the process of examining them. "Those who were allotted these PAN cards are also being examined as how they managed to apply. This might also serve as important evidence against the accused,'' said a cop.

NSDL, which works under the Income Tax department, gives technical assistance for preparation of PAN cards. The role of those officials who processed these PAN cards from the I-T department is also under scanner and a communication has been sent to the department concerned to look into their role internally. It was suspected from the beginning that an insider may have helped the scamsters process so many PAN cards in a short span of time.

Meanwhile, the final forensic report on the software used in the draw of lots is still awaited. The forensic llaboratory at Hyderabad is conducting fresh test after they received the server used in the draws. Sources also claimed that there were some `positive' leads during the initial test after which the lab officials asked for the main server in the draw.

The alleged mastermind of the fraud, Gautam, a retired assistant from DDA, had earlier told police that he had used the names and documents of several people belonging to the SC category while applying. He claimed to have submitted more than 1200 forms under this category. So far, the EOW has arrested seven persons in the scam. However, one of the main suspects, Suresh Kumar Meena, is still at large.

Source: TOI


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