Estate Office set to hold public hearings in booth allotment scam

Aim is to give allottees a chance to be heard,says AEO Rahul Gupta

Written by Smriti Sharma Vasudeva | Chandigarh | Published: March 30, 2012 12:00 am

Aim is to give allottees a chance to be heard,says AEO Rahul Gupta

The infamous booth allotment scam may finally reach its logical conclusion after the UT Estate Office decided to hold public hearings for the 88 allottees who were recently issued show cause notices.

Sources in the UT Estate Office say that the allottees have been divided in groups and a committee comprising Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) Rahul Gupta and Tanvi Garg under the supervision of the deputy commissioner will hold the sessions.

“The aim is to give a fair chance to the allottees so that they can be heard properly. At the end of the inquiry,we are hoping for some concrete results and suitable action will be taken if the officials are found guilty for their involvement in the scam,” said AEO Rahul Gupta today.

In fact,following the issuance of show cause notices to 88 allottees,65 of them had filed RTI applications in order to delay the ongoing proceedings.

Sources say that these allottees,instead of filing their reply to the notices issued by the UT administration,had filed in RTI applications seeking disclosure of the present status of the probe.

They had even told the EO that they would file their reply only after receiving their replies.

To this,AEO Rahul Gupta said that the Estate Office has no intention to hide any information and would be giving all replies under the RTI Act 2005 but at the same time,this in no way would delay the ongoing proceedings,he said.

After sitting on the inquiry report,the UT Administration in November last year had termed the report prepared by former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner P S Shergill as incomplete and had issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner for a complete probe.

Sources said records of all 88 beneficiaries who were allotted the booths were checked thoroughly and then matched with the points of contention raised in the inquiry report.

In his 750-page report,Shergill had pointed to the involvement of top politicians and senior officials,among others. The report had stated that the financial dimensions of the fraudulent allotment ran into crores,including money paid to politicians,police officials and officials of the estate office.

The Estate Office,further strengthening the claims of illegal allottees,had conducted several bogus surveys and inspections,the report had stated.

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