In a new twist in the fake heavy vehicle driving licences scam unearthed at the local transport office, the city police said that the district transport officer (DTO) had handed over an ‘unsigned’ letter to the police in which he demanded a probe by them. This has raised questions over the functioning of the transport department.
In his 2-page inquiry report under the alleged unsigned letter on July 18, the DTO had given the names of 177 persons who were issued heavy driving licences on the basis of fake certificates.
The DTO had met police commissioner Arpit Shukla and submitted the report and requested him to take action against 177 persons. The police commissioner had deputed assistant commissioner of police (ACP investigation) Harjinder Singh to conduct the probe. Surprisingly, it took one month for the police to find that the DTO had handed over an “unsigned letter’!
Now, the city police have written back to the DTO for signing the letter and have sought more details about the scam.
Further, the police have also asked the DTO for supporting documents and names of suspected persons, including agents or others, involved in the scam.
Since the letter was submitted to the police, the inquiry was being conducted at a snail’s pace.
Talking to Hindustan Times, the police commissioner said that the letter was unsigned and no additional document was given by the transport department. “The inquiry officer had expressed his inability to conduct the probe without proper documents and papers”, added the commissioner.
We have now asked the transport department to submit more papers with adequate details and other procedural information, said the city police chief.
As per the new system launched by the transport department to get a driving licence for heavy vehicles anywhere in Punjab, a person will have to get a training certificate from the State Institute of Automotive and Driving Skill at Mahuana village of Muktsar.
In the scam, those who were indicted reportedly used fake certificates to get the license from the local department.
After the scam, local officer Pradeep Singh was shifted to the Kapurthala transport office.
Another employee Param of the Smart Chip Company, entrusted with the issuance of licences and registration was asked to resign, but the DTO did not mention any other names.
As per inquiry report accessed by HT, the DTO wrote that miscreants accessed passwords of the secret system, which was really surprising and shocking.
The DTO stated that he witnessed a sudden hike in the issuance of heavy vehicles’ licences and started checking the records. During the inspection, he found that fake certificates issued by the State Institute of Automotive and Driving Skills were attached by 177 applicants to procure licences.