Ghaziabad, June 18 (IANS) The previous Ghaziabad District Magistrate did not follow the process for reducing the collector’s circle rates in the case in which Stamp Department official Rajesh Sharma was arrested last week for corruption and causing a loss of over hundreds of crores to the state exchequer, officials said on Sunday.
To reduce the circle rate, a committee of Additional District Magistrates, Sub-Divisional Magistrates and high level officers from the state government in Lucknow is set up and public objections are invited through newspaper advertisements, said District Magistrate Ministhy S. Nair.
After following these norms, the committee can slash prevailing collector circle rates, she said, adding that these procedures were not followed by her predecessor Nidhi Kesarwani.
Assistant Inspector General, Stamps, Rajesh Sharma was arrested here on Thursday for abusing his official position for corruption and causing huge losses to the state exchequer, police said. A court later sent him to 14 days judicial custody
His arrest came on a police complaint filed by Naib Tehsildar Bhupendra Singh alleging Sharma along with former Sub Registrar Ajay Goel was engaged in extorting money by carrying on official work from Goel’s private residence in Rajnagar here.
Complaints were filed in the district magistrate’s office against Sharma by Rajesh Upadhyay, president of Deed Writer Association, and Anil Chaudhary, an advocate who alleged that he was running his office from a private place from where he used to manage complaints by fake names on the basis of which he used to issue notice to property buyers whose documents came to his office for screening.
Nair said the legal procedure was strictly followed in the arrest of Sharma, who was found working on a computer.
A computer expert found that an unsigned order of former District Magistrate Kesarwani was uploaded on the computer. The police team seized the official seals, computer, printer and other documents and were attached them as case property before filing the FIR, she said.
Police said that the seized document suggests that Kesarwani bypassed the ADM Finance and delegated the power to resolve disputes directly to Sharma, which accounted for her unsigned order found on his computer.
“So through such tricks he managed to earn huge money and incurred huge loss to the state exchequer. All these facts would be brought out, so we will seek the police custody of Sharma,” said Superintendent of Police, City, Akash Tomar.
While Sharma was charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with cheating and forgery and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, Ghaziabad police recovered 70 mobile phones on Friday from outside the main entrance of his apartment here.
It is suspected that the mobile phones were used to trap clients to evade from the official record. “We will send these mobiles for forensic test and would seek the police custody remand to expose further such cases like RED mall where collector circle were slashed from Rs 1,50,000 to Rs 75,000 when Kesarwani was the District Magistrate,” said Tomar.
A private complaint was also registered against the arrested official by Brijesh Sharma, who alleged that he and Goel demanded Rs 10 lakh from him and a similar sum from his client,