The Ghaziabad police has arrested the Assistant Inspector General (Stamps) who used his access to property documents to extort money from buyers by issuing notices on fake complaints, and also reduced circle rates of prime properties causing massive loss to the state exchequer. AIG (stamps) Rajesh Sharma was arrested on Thursday night for abusing his official position by way of corrupt practices that led to loss of hundreds of crores to the state exchequer, police said. The Ghaziabad police also recovered 70 used mobile phones from outside the main entrance of Sharma’s apartment in Prateek Tower Crossing Republik Ghaziabad.
The security guard of Prateek Tower informed police that two cartons had been placed outside the main entrance of flat number 903 owned by Sharma. The police seized the cartons and took it to Kavi Nagar police station. It is suspected that the mobile phones were used to trap clients and to evade getting caught. Once a mobile phone was used for an extortion deal, it was not used again. This could mean that at least 70 such deals were struck. The call details of the mobile phones would establish the crime after forensic test is completed, said Circle Officer II Sudesh Gupta.
The police said that Naib Tehsildar Bhupendra Singh lodged a complaint on June 14 (Wednesday) with the Kavi Nagar police in which he alleged that Sharma along with former Sub Registrar Ajay Goel was engaged in extorting money by carrying on office work from Goel’s private residence R-2/231 Rajnagar in Ghaziabad. Sharma, who was arrested on late Thursday night, was presented before the court which remanded him to 14 days judicial custody.
Two complaints were filed in the district magistrate’s office against Sharma by Rajesh Upadhyay, president of Deed Writer Association, and Anil Chaudhary, an advocate who alleged that the officer was running his office from a private place and had taken the official computer, scanner, printer and other official documents to the residence. Sharma had access to property documents that came to his office for screening after getting registered at the sub registrar office. Using a fake alibi, he would file a complaint of tax evasion against a property buyer, and then in his capacity as AIG (Stamps) he would take it up and threaten the person.
The FIR states that the officer had taken all the data from his office in a pen drive to the private residence. The FIR further states that if the property buyers did not offer bribe beforehand, the officer used to lodge cases in civil courts and forced them to arrive at a compromise by bribing him. Hence he used to extort money from innocent property buyers, the FIR states. The FIR states that the officer also slashed the collector’s circle rate drastically due to which the state suffered a huge loss in several hundred crores.
The complainant presented a citation in the FIR that Sharma had slashed the collector’s circle rate of RED Mall at New Bus Stand from Rs 1,50,000 to Rs 75,000 – which is half of the prevailing rate. There were other such instances of this nature.
The police said the documents suggests that former District Magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani bypassed the ADM Finance and delegated the power to Sharma of resolving circle rate disputes directly. Her unsigned order was found uploaded on the computer. So through such tricks he managed huge money and incurred huge loss to the state exchequer.
Earlier, to establish the allegations the city magistrate ordered a search warrant on which basis a raid was conducted at Goel’s residence where Sharma and Goel were found working on computers.
The computer expert Rahul Tyagi opened the system and found that an unsigned order of former DM Kesarwani was uploaded on the computer. The Sub Inspector Dharmendra Lamba was called and a recovery memo was prepared after which the official seals, computer, printer and other documents were seized and were attached as a case property before filing the FIR. The Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ministhy S. Nair on Thursday had recommended the suspension of the guilty officer. He is likely to be suspended since he had been arrested under grave sections 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC and 67 of the Information Technology Act.
A private complaint has also been registered under section 383, 504 and 506 of IPC filed by a person, Brijesh Sharma, who alleged that Sharma and Goel demanded Rs 10 lakh from him and asked to bring Rs 10 lakh from a client, Ashutosh Joshi. The FIR states that the complainant Brijesh Sharma was facing severe mental torture since last two months.