Friday, August 5, 2011

RTO Scam Gujarat

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Friday asked the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to file an affidavit in connection with the alleged Rs 700-crore scam in the Check Post Automation System (CPAS) installed by the regional transport office. CAG is to inform the court whether it is satisfied with the remedial measures taken by the state government, if any.
A division bench, headed by the chief justice, orally observed that if CAG replies that the government’s action on the report was not satisfactory, the court may order an inquiry by an independent agency. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Vipul Patel through advocate Tejas Barot. The petitioner has sought CBI probe on the ground that the State did not do anything on CAG report.
The bench made CAG a party in the proceeding and sought explanation after the state authorities submitted their replies in this regard. During the hearing, the court raised various questions on the registrations made at RTO check posts regarding entry of vehicles in Gujarat.
Citing CAG report, the petitioner has claimed that when former minister Amit Shah was holding portfolio of ports and road transport, the contract for ‘automatic vehicle entry tax collection’ was awarded to Chasmita Engineers Pvt Ltd. 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 in 2006, the company’s contract was renewed at the behest of Shah, which resulted in revenue loss of nearly Rs 700 crore by entering invalid transaction dates, invalid registration numbers and most importantly by making mischief in calculating weight, as most of the vehicles are over-loaded.

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