ACB Registers Case Against ARTO Kupwara 3 Others; Cash Worth Rs 15 Lakh Seized

Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB)

Srinagar: Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday said it registered a case against ARTO Kupwara and three other officials of the department while Rs 1.5 lakh cash and various incriminating material have been recovered.

In a statement issued to Kashmir News service (KNS), the ACB said that a joint surprise check was conducted by Anti Corruption Bureau into the allegation that ARTO Kupwara has planted one person namely Bilal Ahmad Sheikh of Vilgam Kupwara to run all the affairs of his office like Travel Test, Replacement of Driving Licence, Fitness, Learning Licence, Audit Approval, Registration and Print Card for collecting money by illegal means.

It said that the joint surprise check was conducted at the site of driving test (Nagri Kupwara) in association with Executive Magistrate 1st Class Handwara.

“During surprise check accused Bilal Ahmad Sheikh was found actively involved in conducting the driving tests with the officials of Assistant Regional Transport Office, Kupwara,” it said.

The ACB said also said that the search of personal Car (JK01R-4373) of Bilal Ahmad Sheikh on spot at the site of driving test, led to the recovery of 138 original driving licences besides various other incriminating material like provisional appointment slips for driving tests, application reference slips, application for addition of new class of vehicle, journey sheets of vehicles, transport plans, learners licence, handwritten details regarding tests held on 04.08.2021 etc.

Consequently, a case FIR No.09/2021 has been registered in police station ACB Baramulla under section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and section 120-B of Indian Penal Code against Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi (Assistant Regional Transport Officer Kupwara), Khursheed Ahmad Kanna (Motor Vehicle Inspector), Abdul Hamid Bhat (Motor Vehicle Inspector) and Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (private Agent) for improper performance of public duty in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy, it ACB statement reads..

“During initial investigation, it came to the fore that there is a deep nexus among accused officers of Transport Department and the private Agents (brokers) to fleece the general public, it reads.

“To break this unholy nexus, ACB conducted searches of residential premises of Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi (ARTO Kupwara) at Nowshera Boniyar Baramulla and residential premises of Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Agent) at Vilgam Kupwara in pursuance to the warrants issued by Court of Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Baramulla, ” it said.

“During searches, Rs 15 lakh cash and various incriminating material having bearing on the case have been recovered . The investigation is going on.” the ACB statement said. (KNS).