In an incident that has exposed the abject callousness of the regional transport authority, the driving licence of a Chandigarh judge— who was murdered a good seven years ago — was renewed without verification of his documents and the mandatory physical appearance.
Vijay Singh — an additional sessions judge in Chandigarh — was murdered in October 2005.
The incident was brought to light by one Rishi Raj, a whistleblower who wanted to expose "the corruption and loopholes of the local driving license authority in Gurgaon".
"I was shocked to see the way the regional transport authority operated. I paid R1,500 bribe to a clerk to get the deceased judge's licence renewed. I got to know about the judge from an article published in a magazine in May this year. I scanned his photo, used his real name and produced his fake licence, ration card and medical certificate to the concerned official," said Raj.
"The licence authority did not insist on the applicant's physical appearance. I paid them some money and told them that he is out of city,” Raj said.
“After that, they were least bothered to verify the documents and renewed the licence immediately," Raj added.
The department came to know about the incident only after Raj himself told them about it.
When contacted by HT, the district regional transport authority tried to hush up the matter.
The department said it suspected "the motto behind the step taken by Rishi Rahi".
They alleged Raj was blackmailing them and "may have some personal agenda behind this expose".
"The mistake happened due to good faith. The official believed him when he said that Vijay Singh was out of city and could not be physically present to get his licence renewed," said a senior RTA official on condition of anonymity.
"But when we got to know about the incident, we immediately verified all the documents and found them to be fake. We instantly cancelled the licence," the official said.
He said a warning had been issued to the "officials responsible for the mistake".
"We will take necessary action after investigating the matter," the official added.
Raj, on his part, clarified he didn't have any personal agenda.
"I want to serve the society and expose the corruption in the RTA department," he said.