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TOUT-STAFF ‘NEXUS’ Faridkot RTA suspends 260 DLs, blacklists 96 RCs

Hindustan Times, Faridkot | By Parteek Singh Mahal, Faridkot
PUBLISHED ON FEB 02, 2020 10:36 PM IST

Amid allegations of nexus between touts and the staff at the regional transport authority (RTA) at Faridkot, the RTA has suspended 260 driving licences (DLs) issued in 2019 for violation of rules.

It has also blacklisted 96 registration certificates (RCs) that were issued without necessary documents and payment of taxes.

Faridkot RTA secretary Hardeep Singh has submitted an interim report in this regard to the state transport commissioner (STC). In the report, the RTA secretary said they had received several complaints that there were fraudulent backlog entries entered in the Sarthi 4.0 (online portal) to make heavy vehicle licences directly (without the required driving experience).

Besides, there were backlog entries of registration certificates (RCs) in Vahan 4.0 (online portal) wherein documentation was not complete and taxes were not fully paid.

“In order to prevent fraud with public, a team was deputed to verify all the licences and RCs issued from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 and submit a report of licences and RCs, which were made in violation of Motor Vehicle Act and Rules,” the RTA secretary said in the report.

The RTA found that a total of 4,628 backlog entries of DLs were made from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 and 260 of these were suspended for violation of rules.

During the same period, a total of 855 backlog entries of RCs were found. Of these, 96 RCs were blacklisted on account of incomplete documentation and non-payment of taxes.

“Notices have been issued to the owners of the vehicles to produce their complete documents within a specified time, failing which action will be taken against them as per Motor Vehicle Act, 1988,” said Hardeep Singh

He said the scrutiny and verification of licences were done from the ID of junior assistant Amritpal Singh, who was suspended last month.

However, the RTA has not disclosed further details regarding fraudulent entries or financial loss caused by them.

“The relevant record will be re-scrutinised for any further omissions, if any. The record of driving licences and RCs of 2018 will also be taken up to detect backlog entries,” the RTA secretary said in the report.

‘REPORT OF MAGISTERIAL PROBE TO COME SOON’

Deputy commissioner (DC) Kumar Saurabh Raj had ordered a magisterial probe in the alleged nexus between Faridkot RTA staff and touts following recovery of various official documents of the RTA office from several touts during a raid last month.

An official, seeking anonymity, said that the probe team found various irregularities in the working of Faridkot RTA office. “A duplicate RC of a Ford Endeavour was issued in August 2019 through backlog entries. The vehicle’s road tax was paid in 2017 according to the challan date mentioned in RTA record (January 10, 2017). But surprisingly, the vehicle was manufactured in 2018 and purchased in October 2018. The team suspects that the receipts are fake. Such entries might have caused a huge loss to the state exchequer,” he added.

Subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Paramdeep Singh said the investigation is under process and he will soon submit its report to the DC. “We have spotted some irregularities in the process of issuing of driving licenses and RCs through backlog entries. We are suspecting loss to the state exchequer. I cannot disclose any details right now,” he added.

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