Thursday, July 21, 2011

HC seeks govt explanation on alleged RTO scam of . 700 cr

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Thursday sought explanation from the state authorities with regards to financial irregularities of nearly Rs 700 crore after the introduction of Check Post Automation System (CPAS) by RTO, as reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General in 2006.
Acting on a PIL filed by one Vipul Patel through advocate Tejas Barot, the division bench headed by the chief justice not only sought explanation about the alleged financial irregularities, and also asked why the court should not hand over the probe to an independent agency. The department of ports and transports, the transport commissioner and Chasmita Engineers Pvt. Ltd, which got the contract of CPAS, have been asked to reply by August 5.
Citing CAG report, the petitioner has claimed that when former minister Amit Shah was holding portfolio of department of ports and transport, the contract for Automatic Vehicle Entry Tax Collection was given to the company named in the petition, but during this period, the system was not functional at 10 different check posts, including Shamlaji, Bhilad, Songadh and Dahod.
The company has been alleged of causing huge losses to state exchequer in collusion with high-level officials. Even after the CAG report highlighted the scam, the company’s contract was renewed at the behest of Shah, which resulted in revenue loss of nearly Rs 700 crore. The company is alleged to have entered invalid transaction dates and invalid registration numbers. It is also alleged to have miscalculated the weight of vehicles carrying goods for its personal benefit.
Submitting that the state government has not ordered any inquiry into this fraud, the petitioner has sought CBI probe in the case. The PIL has also requested the court to direct the state to recover the lost amount from the persons responsible, including the company and former minister. It also urges the court to immediately discontinue the contract given to the company.

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