Corruption case: Vigilance bureau SSP seeks permission to grill Patiala RTO
RTO’s driver-cum-gunman was held last month accepting bribe of ₹40,000 from a transporter in Rampura Phul ‘at his behest’.punjab Updated: Mar 14, 2018 11:31 IST
Flagging that Patiala regional transport officer (RTO) Gurpreet Singh Thind is involved in a corruption case, Bathinda zone vigilance bureau (VB) has written to the bureau head office, seeking permission to grill PCS officer.
Bathinda VB senior superintendent of police (SSP) Jagjit Singh has sent a preliminary report to Shive Kumar Verma, IG, VB, and sought permission to investigate into the role of Thind in the bribery case registered at Bathinda.
On February 26, the sleuths of Bathinda VB had arrested the RTO’s driver-cum-gunman, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Harjinder Singh, while accepting a bribe of ₹40,000 from a transporter in Rampura Phul for hassle-free movement of his trucks through Patiala.
Confirming that a demi-official letter has been written to IG, VB, Jagjit Singh said, “There is a plethora of evidence to indicate that bribe was accepted by the ASI at the behest of RTO Thind.”
He said the VB has recovered from the ASI a challan book signed by Thind, wherein all columns are not filled, release orders of vehicles signed by RTO, original stamps of RTO office and other incriminating documents.
When contacted, Thind said, “The matter is under investigation. I have no comments make.”
Sources said as per the rules, this challan book should have been in the possession of the RTO.
They said the ASI has confessed that during night time, he used to act as RTO and challan vehicles on the highway. “It has come to the fore that RTO used to sign blank challan book, and send the ASI on duty at night. ASI was collecting bribe at the behest of RTO during checking,” they added.
“A diary has been recovered which has records of the bribe money collected. The property of the ASI, arrested by VB, is disproportionate to his known sources of income. A driver can’t operate at such a level without the involvement of his boss,” the sources said.
The ASI told the VB that he used to send free vehicles to politicians during rallies and for private trips, so that they “should keep mum”, they said.
Thind has served as DTO during the ten years of the Akali rule, and when the Amarinder Singh government scrapped the post of DTO, he was posted as RTO, Patiala.
When contacted, VB IG Verma said he was on leave for a week. “Now, I have joined office and will go through the SSP’s letter. Everything will be done as per the rules.”