The North Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner said on Wednesday senior officials of the civic body were involved in the theft of over 20,000 blank birth and death certificates, 49 of which were used to apply for passports.
Commissioner Praveen Gupta said the information is based on preliminary findings of a probe conducted by the north corporation’s vigilance department.
On May 18, Hindustan Times had reported about the theft of 20,000 pre-printed (blank) birth/death certificates from the Karol Bagh Zone office of the north corporation.
After the incident, the sub-registrar concerned was suspended and an FIR was filed. The investigation was later handed over to the vigilance department.
Worried about the possible misuse, the corporation had put out a public notice mentioning the serial numbers of the stolen certificates. People were requested to not accept certificates with those serial numbers.
Within a month, similar complaints were received from the Civil Lines and Rohini zones. But the exact number of certificates stolen from these zones were not confirmed by the agency.
The matter became more complicated after some stolen certificates were found to have been used to apply for passports.
“The passport department had confirmed 49 fake death and birth certificates after verification,” said a senior North Corporation official.
The corporation is waiting for the final report of the vigilance department.
“We received reports for two zones but some of our queries are still unanswered. The names of the tainted officials will be disclosed by next week after the final report is out,” said Gupta during the standing committee meeting. He assured of stringent action against the defaulters.
The opposition accused the BJP-ruled Municipal Corporation of delaying the matter and not taking the responsibility for the lapse.
“How can a person remember all the fake serial numbers? People can be fooled easily. Moreover, chances of misuse of the documents is high,” said Mukesh Goel, leader of opposition.
Pravesh Wahi, standing committee chairman, asked the civic body officials concerned to immediately mention the serial numbers of the stolen certificates on notice boards of the six zonal offices.