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Framed for probing evasion cases, says arrested AIG, stamps, facing graft charge

AIG Rajesh Sharma has been recommended for suspension

noida Updated: Jun 16, 2017 22:14 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Rajesh Sharma, AIG (stamps), was arrested by the Ghaziabad police late Thursday night.(HT PHOTO)

The serving assistant inspector general (AIG), stamps, who was arrested by Ghaziabad police late Thursday night, has denied allegations of corruption and said that he has been framed and made a scapegoat as he was probing a number of cases of stamp duty evasion. He was recommended for suspension on Thursday night.

Police on Friday also claim to have recovered two cartons containing nearly 70 mobile phones from outside Sharma’s residence at Crossing Republic. Officials said further investigations are on.

AIG Rajesh Sharma was arrested in connection with two FIRs lodged against him. The arrest followed an inquiry and raid conducted at the Raj Nagar residence of Ajay Kumar Garg, a retired deputy inspector general (stamps), with whom Sharma had been allegedly running a ‘parallel office.’

One of the FIRs was filed by the district administration, while the other was filed by a deed writer from Modi Nagar.

“There had been more than 2,600 cases of stamp duty evasion from Modi Nagar which I had been probing. I was also handling another major case, which is related to a private developer who was supposed to pay a stamp duty of ₹24.5 crore, but paid only ₹100. The proceedings in this case were being conducted in my court. I went to Garg’s residence to take advice on matters as he is a retired officer,” Sharma, said.

“I have been framed by builders and certain lawyers,” he said.

Sharma also faces allegation of reducing the circle rate of a prominent mall for favours. However, he said that “the final authority to decide the levy and revision of circle rates is the district collector.”

Sharma faces charges of cheating and forgery in one of the FIRs and also other IPC sections in the second FIR lodged by private persons. However, the district administration officials admitted that the final decision about the circle rates rests with the district collector.

“The documents will be part of the police investigation and a departmental inquiry will also be initiated by state officials. If he is found involved, he may lose his increment and could also be terminated from service. It is also alleged that he connived with builders and revised the circle rates in December last year,” said Rajesh Yadav, additional district magistrate (finance).

According to the document available with the district administration, the circle rate of the mall in question was pegged at ₹1,40,000 per square metre in August 2015. It was later revised to ₹90,000 per square metre in August 2016.

The officials also claimed certain other rate revisions in Sahibabad. In one such case, the rate was reduced from ₹45,000 per sq m to R₹30,000 per sq m in December last year, the officials said. The revised circle rate document had signatures of just two officials, including Sharma. Generally, the sub registrar of the area, AIG (stamps), ADM (finance) and the district collector sign the circle rate documents, Yadav added.

Read I Senior Ghaziabad official arrested for cheating, running a parallel office

Apart from Sharma, the police are also on lookout for the second accused, Ajay Kumar Garg, who is said to be the retired deputy inspector general (stamps). Sharma was allegedly using Garg’s Raj Nagar residence for running a ‘parallel office.’

Sharma was found in Garg’s residence during the raid by the district officials on June 14. They also found official files and incriminating documents during the raid. The computers were also seized and sent to a laboratory for forensic examination. Two FIRs were lodged against Sharma and Garg at Kavi Nagar police station.

First Published: Jun 16, 2017 22:13 IST