January 8, 2009 1:59:32 am
Arvind Parkash Verma was arrested last September; four aides on the run
The Vigilance Bureau (VB) has secured arrest warrants against four absconding agents of Ludhiana West tehsildar-cum-subregistrar Arvind Parkash Verma. The agents used to allegedly collect bribes for Verma.
In September last,Verma was caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from an NRI. The VB had also arrested three other employees of the same office,which included Parminder Pal Singh (cashier) and Harjinder Singh (constable) and Gopal Krishan (reader).
The VB is on the lookout for the four accused,of whom two hail from Jalandhar and one each from Ludhiana and Mukerian. According to VB officials,The accused used to arrange and collect bribes for the tehsildar. The men are on the run.
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It has also been learnt that the tehsildar has spilled the beans about the involvement of the top brass in the nexus.
While the entire scam has put the functioning of the district babudom under the scanner,the confessions of Verma underline how he secured the position by paying bribes,which continued thereafter as well. Meanwhile,the state government has asked the concerned authorities to take action against the ones who have been taking bribes from Verma.
Being the richest office of the district,the Ludhiana West land deal registry office handles crores of rupees on daily basis. The office is also notorious for corruption and got a reprieve when Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had appointed Mukesh Kumar,one of the most honest tehsildars,as a reward for his honesty. This change,however,did not go down well with Verma who had challenged the appointment in the High Court. A lobby of realtors,who are said to be close to Verma,exerted pressure on Badal to reinstate Verma.
Though Verma got his position back,the VB arrested him red-handed accepting the bribe. SP Ravcharan Singh Brar,who has been handling the case said,The confessional statement does not stand in the court and we are not bothered about it either. The investigations in this case are almost complete and we have a water tight case against Verma,who will soon be tried in the court.
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