Two days after an “RTI activist” was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi government for touting and criminal conspiracy, ACB officials collected his voice samples and sought details of his call records to establish his purported conversations with MCD officials.
The accused, Anil Dutt Sharma, 54, who till two years ago was a motor parts dealer, allegedly posed as a ‘Junior Engineer in the MCD’ or an ‘RTI activist’. He usually targeted builders carrying out illegal constructions in East, Northeast and South Delhi to extort money by threatening to file RTIs against them. On the other side, he would strike deals with MCD officials, offering them a cut to not take action against the builders carrying out illegal constructions, police said.
It was only when a builder, who was fed up with Sharma’s continuous demands for money, approached the ACB that Sharma was arrested. He was caught red-handed accepting Rs 1 lakh from a builder in Shahdara.
With Sharma’s arrest, at least 75 junior engineers and assistant engineers, an Assistant Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner are under the scanner after his call records and certain audio recordings have shown him to be in conversation with them.
“In one conversation, Sharma is purportedly heard telling a junior engineer that the builder has been taken care of and that his construction should not be affected. The engineer is heard telling him that the matter would be taken care of at his end as well,” an ACB source said.
Reportedly, Sharma was taken to the FSL lab, where his voice samples were taken on Thursday. The audio records recovered from his phone have been converted into a CD and sent for forensic examination. Once the results come in, the MCD officials under the scanner will be examined.
“We will issue official notices to the three districts of South, North and Northeast, where some of the officials have been found to have been in conversation with Sharma,” an official said.