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Check numbers of MCD officials on phone of ‘RTI activist’: Court to ACB

Investigators: Sharma was able to exploit the builders because all were carrying illegal constructions.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
July 10, 2014 4:02:37 am

Two weeks after a 52-year-old businessman turned ‘RTI activist’ was arrested by the Anti Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government, the man was produced before a local court which told the ACB to check mobile numbers of all MCD officials on the accused’s phone. The court has also sought a response on why the accused had taken money for the RTI applications he had filed.

On Wednesday, Anil Dutt Sharma was produced before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Narottam Kaushal. Sharma had been sent to judicial custody following his arrest on June 24 by ACB.

With the arrest of Sharma, at least 75 junior engineers, assistant engineers and senior MCD officials are under the ACB’s scanner, after Sharma was reportedly found making frequent phone calls to them. Ten complainants so far have told the ACB that Sharma had approached them, posing as a Junior Engineer. He would then inform builders who carried out illegal constructions that an RTI had been filed and that if they wanted it quashed, they would have to pay him.

Investigators have claimed that if the builders refused to pay the money, Sharma would threaten them by calling the MCD officials on his list and asking them to raze the building.

Investigators said that the only reason Sharma was able to exploit the builders was because all were carrying out illegal constructions. Sharma, as reported by Newsline earlier, was also being trained by a retired Additional Director of an MCD slum on filing RTIs.

The court has fixed the hearing for July 19. ACB sources have said that another case of extortion has been registered against Sharma at the Seelampur police station this week.

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