Patiala fake RCs, permits scam: SIT yet to complete probe, police fail to procure records from RTA
Almost a year on, the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) investigation into the racket involving issuance of fake registration certificates (RCs) and transport permits is still in limbo.
The SIT, formed to look into the matter, has failed to submit its probe report till date. Moreover, the files related to the case keep on shifting from one office to other and police have failed to procure the records from the Patiala Regional Transport Authority (RTA).
In October last year, the district police had arrested two persons involved in the fake documents’ nexus and recovered 69 RCs issued in the name of the Patiala RTA, 11 in name of the Ambala RTA, and 132 counterfeit transport permits, all issued from Patiala.
The cops had also seized seven fake rubber stamps — five of Patiala RTA officials and two of the Ambala RTA. Police suspect that some Patiala and Ambala RTA employees might be working in connivance with the gang.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu had constituted a three-member SIT, headed by the then superintendent of police (SP, traffic) Harmeet Singh Hundal, to carry out an investigation into the matter.
“From Hundal, the file went to next SP (traffic) Satvir Singh, but he too failed to complete the probe. Now, the investigation is being carried out by incumbent SP (traffic) Palwinder Singh Cheema,” said an official, pleading anonymity.
He added that the SIT has already written to the Patiala and Ambala RTAs to submit records related to the matter, but the departments concerned have still not reverted back to the police.
“It’s a lengthy process as the records need to be procured from Patiala as well as Ambala. We have written to both the departments on multiple occasions, but they have not submitted the records,” the official said.
SSP Sidhu said that the SIT is already working on the matter to gather substantial evidence. “The investigation is still on as the SIT is gathering vital clues. They will be directed to complete the investigation so that the further action can be taken,” the SSP said.
In October 2019, police had arrested Amandeep Singh, of Sidhuwal village in Patiala district, and Arvinder Singh, of Ambala. They had reportedly purchased vehicles that were already registered at other states, during auctioning of loan defaulting vehicles by different banks.
The accused would temper the chassis and engine numbers of the purchased vehicles and prepare fake no objection certificates (NOCs) from the Ambala RTA. Following this, the accused would approached Patiala RTA and get the vehicles registered by presenting counterfeit NOCs and fake residential address.
Police had stated that with this, such vehicles were registered correctly on the records of local transport authority, but the whole process involved in it is found to be bogus.
The accused had confessed to have issued 150 fake RCs so far, and had sold many vehicles in the markets, using fake documents. Moreover, the accused, allegedly with the help of the transport authority employees, had issued fake transport permits by forging signatures and stamps of the registering authorities.