Following a secret inquiry, the Punjab vigilance bureau registered an FIR against officials of the Sangrur district transport office for causing huge loss to the state exchequer by collecting low road tax on vehicles and indulging in corruption.
Though exact loss is yet to be calculated, officials estimated that figures could run into crores. All officials from the peon to district transport officer (DTO), who were posted in Sangrur from January 2011 to December 2013, have come under the VB's scanner.
Patiala DTO Punjab Civil Services Gurpreet Singh Thind, who was the then Sangrur DTO, denied all allegations of corruption at the transport office during his tenure.
While the VB named clerk Sham Lal and a few other agents in the FIR, the role of other senior officials and police personnel posted as gunmen at the transport office is also being scrutinised, said sources.
Sources said they found out that during the auction of VIP numbers the DTO staff bought them at throwaway prices to use it on Tata Nanos and sell it higher prices because of they bore fancy numbers. Names of politicians were used to procure these VIP numbers.
Following the inquiry, the VB concluded that the officers were involved in rampant corruption at the transport office. It came to the fore that officials and agents were hand-in-glove in registering vehicles from other states for low prices to save on tax amount.
Following information from sources that registration rules were not followed and officials did not cross-verify the papers submitted by agents at the DTO and taking cognisance of similar complaints from the Samana sub-divisional magistrate office, the VB had conducted the inquiry.
VB's Patiala Zone senior superintendent of police Harpreet Singh refused to divulge details about the FIR stating that it would hamper investigation.