‘RTI activist’ extortion: ACB arrests junior engineer for links with Anil Dutt Sharmahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/rti-activist-extortion-acb-arrests-junior-engineer-for-links-with-anil-dutt-sharma/

‘RTI activist’ extortion: ACB arrests junior engineer for links with Anil Dutt Sharma

Sources in the ACB told Newsline that the accused JE, Khushi Ram, was arrested on Sunday.

A Junior Engineer (JE) posted at the East Delhi corporation has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government for allegedly assisting ‘RTI activist’ Anil Dutt Sharma in extorting money from builders. The investigating agency arrested the JE based on seized audio recordings of conversations between the two.

Sources in the ACB told Newsline that the accused JE, Khushi Ram, was arrested on Sunday. He was posted at the corporation’s Shahdara office.

Sources said Ram is an accomplice of Sharma — the 52-year-old motor parts dealer-turned-RTI activist who was arrested on June 24 this year for allegedly extorting money from builders involved in illegal constructions in East, Northeast and South Delhi areas. Reportedly, Ram and Sharma have known each other for over two years.

The ACB has seized audio recordings of a purported conversation between the two that had taken place on June 23, a day before Sharma’s arrest. The two had spoken of a ‘deal’, where they allegedly tried extorting money from a builder who was constructing his property at an approved site.

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Sources said Sharma, along with Ram, had tried to extort money from this builder, who refused saying his plan for construction had been approved.

In the conversation, sources said, the two had spoken of how to extort money from the same builder once again.
Sources said the ACB has written to the Assistant Engineers and other senior officials of the MCD, requesting documents relating to properties in their areas which were identified by Sharma and Ram.

Newsline had first reported Sharma’s arrest on June 24. Sharma, a resident of Dilshad Garden, was caught red-handed by the ACB accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a builder. Sharma would pose as a JE and visit builders. He would then inform them of how RTIs had been filed against their illegal constructions, thereby forcing them to pay him the amount he asked for.