A 61-year-old man, who runs a fair price shop (FPS), was arrested from northwest Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar area for allegedly selling around 1,000 quintal of food grains to some unidentified shopkeepers. After the Food and Supply Department conducted a raid at the shop, three shopkeepers were booked by Delhi Police, and one was arrested on Tuesday.
Confirming the arrest, DCP (northwest) Aslam Khan said, “We have arrested the accused, Pramod Kumar, after an FIR under several sections of the Essential Commodities Act was registered against him at Adarsh Nagar police station. Further investigations are underway.”
Police said the case was registered after a food and supply inspector, Sarabjeet Kaur, conducted a raid at Kumar’s ration shop.
“The raid was conducted after Kaur received information that he was fraudulently selling foodgrains after duping innocent ration card holders,” a senior police officer said.
Starting January 1, Aadhaar card-based electronic point of sale (e-PoS) devices were set up at 2,254 FPS in the city for beneficiaries of subsidised ration rates. The e-PoS device comes equipped with two SIM cards, and the fingerprints authenticate the card-holders. In case biometrics do not get scanned on the e-PoS machine, an iris scan is done.
In case the iris scan fails as well, the ration shopkeeper has to enter the registered phone number and the card holder concerned will have to enter a one time password (OTP).
Initial investigation revealed that Kumar was receiving the same OTP after entering any random number, but instead of reporting and rectifying the issue, he started duping customers and selling the foodgrains in the black market, said the officer.
During investigation, the enforcement department had scanned all details of card holders and conducted a door-to-door verification of all the consumers. “They found that 418 consumers were registered with Kumar’s shop, but 230 were not found residing at their addresses, and only 188 card holders were traceable,” the officer added. At FPS, wheat is sold for Rs 2/kg, and rice for Rs 3/kg. The same amount of wheat costs Rs 22 at other shops.