Admitting on record for the first time that there exist irregularities within the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR), the defence ministry has filed an FIR against a clerk on May 1. And while the FIR filed at R K Puram Police Station blames the clerk for “embezzlement” worth Rs 88,000, the irregularities within the department could be to the tune of crores, indicate documents. As reported earlier, the CBI is already probing 108 individuals for wrongdoings in connection with DGR funds.
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According to the First Information Report, the clerk, Shashikant Singh, who was in charge of the allotment of surplus vehicles scheme, made irregularities by violating the procedures laid down by the government. The DGR, which overlooks the resettlement of ex-servicemen, allots surplus vehicles to the ex-servicemen/ widows at nominal prices. While applying for such a vehicle, the applicant ESM/ war-widow is supposed to submit a “refundable deposit” between Rs 1,000 for a motorcycle, Rs 3,000 for a light four wheeler and Rs 8,000 for a heavy vehicle. As per the documents available, the Army, which sold 3,376 vehicles between 2009-11 collected Rs 2.59 crore as refundable deposit from applicants. Interestingly, however, only Rs 2.76 lakh was “refunded”. While the remaining Rs 2.56 crore though should have been in the account, the specific account till date has a mere Rs 17,59,902.82, leaving Rs 2.38 crore unaccounted.
Selling of military vehicles is also a sensitive matter. As per the procedure, individual buyers have to write to the DGR submitting an affidavit that the vehicle would not be used for anti-national activities.
Moreover, the application is vetted by Zilla Sainik Welfare officer as well as DGR followed by which the Master General of Ordnance branch issues a no-objection certificate and a vehicle is allotted from one of its depots. The “refundable deposit” which is collected at the time of application is refunded to individuals after their vehicles are registered at the RTO(s).
Those in the know cite serious lapses in the procedures followed by DGR saying the said “malpractices” in the FIR pertained to a racket between alleged agents, who issued false cheques for the “refundable deposits” and officials who never deposited those cheques in the bank.