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Motor licensing officer held

delhi Updated: May 16, 2008 00:23 IST
HT Correspondent

A transport department’s Motor Licensing Officer (MLO) who made crores and built a sprawling bungalow in Green Park has been arrested for authorising driving licences of incompetent applicants after taking bribe, government officials said.

The government’s anti-corruption unit that raided the multi-storey house of Praveen Desai, the MLO of Ashok Vihar’s transport authority, recently was dumbstruck to see top-end furnishing and expensive wares, costing much beyond what Desai could have bought from his salary, said an officer.

“We received information that transport authority officials there were taking money and giving out licences to unfit candidates. We got several incriminating documents from Desai’s house,” said N. Dilip Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Anti-Corruption Branch). To confirm the information, an ACB team made discreet video and audio recordings at Ashok Vihar transport authority.

“Through those recordings we found that the process of conducting driving test was reduced to a farce and transport officials, touts and the official in-charge were in hand-in-glove. A code system was used to identify the number of applications received through different touts so that monetary transactions can be settled later,” said an ACB official.

The arrest capped a long operation that saw eight other officials, including a beat constable, being arrested. Cases were registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC at Ashok Vihar police station earlier this month.