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Turmoil hits CB probe into vehicle hiring scam of Police Deptt
8/3/2016 11:15:12 PM
Junaid Saqib

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Aug 3: The ongoing turmoil in Kashmir has hit the Crime Branch's probe into the alleged multi-crore vehicle hiring scam in the Jammu and Kashmir police department during the Parliamentary and Assembly elections in 2014.
The police had referred the case to the Crime Branch after Central Audit Wing of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) wrote a letter to Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police that CAG has found Rs 6.09 crore "irregularities and misappropriation" by nine drawing and disbursement officers (DDOs 'SSPs, SPs') of the funds meant for "carriage of constabulary and hiring of vehicles" during the Parliamentary and Assembly elections in 2014.
Inspector General Crime Muneer Ahmad Khan said they have almost completed the probe but the process has been halted due to ongoing crisis in Kashmir.
"Some drivers could not submit their statements due to ongoing situation otherwise the process has almost been completed," Khan told Early Times. "We hope very soon the report will be submitted to the police headquarters," he added.
A senior official of the Crime Branch, who is part of the investigation says that there would be "financial irregularities" some cases by the police officers. "But in most of the cases, there has been poor monitoring and lack of supervision by the police officers in hiring of vehicles," the official said.
"In most of the cases, the SSPs, SPs had hired buses and released the payment in their favour but mentioned wrong details about vehicles in the official records by showing registration number of other vehicles like motor cycles, autos cars. In some cases, officials have released the payment which are out of their set spending ability," the official said.
The official said except few officers, most of the police officers seem not involved in the "financial irregularities" but they have to fix the responsibility for the "mistake" they had committed in mentioning wrong details about vehicles in the official records.
However, the CAG report has mentioned that 9 DDOs had hired 8, 996 vehicles for the conduct of Parliamentary and Assembly elections. The Audit team according to the report has checked 5, 957 vehicles and found 755 as fictitious.
The CAG report has said vehicles hired by the sampled nine DDOs, were verified by the audit against the vouchers of payments available in the Accountant General Office and the vehicle registration records of the respective Regional Transport Offices (RTOs). The hired taxis when verified with the RTOs in different districts according to the CAG report have shown that a large number of hired taxis are actually scooters like Bajaj, Chetak, LML Vespa, Activa and motor cycles like Passion, Bullet, Hero Honda.
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