ACB Unearths Massive Corruption Racket In ARTO Set Up

SRINAGAR: Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday registered a case against Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi, ARTO Kupwara, Khursheed Kanna, Abdul Hamid Bhat, Motor Vehicle Inspectors including Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Agent working in office of ARTO Kupwara) and seized cash worth Rs.15 lakh.

As per ACB spokesperson, a  Surprise Check was conducted by Anti Corruption Bureau into the allegation that ARTO Kupwara has planted one person namely Bilal Ahmad Sheikh a resident 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.

The spokesman said that the Joint Surprise Check was conducted at the site of the driving test (Nagri Kupwara) in association with Executive Magistrate 1st Class Handwara.

“During Surprise, Check accused Bilal Ahmad Sheikh son of Wali Mohammad Sheikh a resident of Vilgam was found actively involved in conducting the driving tests with the officials of Assistant Regional Transport Office, Kupwara,” he said.

“The search of personal Car of Bilal Ahmad Sheikh son of Wali Mohammad Sheikh a resident of Vilgam bearing number JK01R-4373 on spot at the site of the 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,” he added.

“Consequently, a case FIR No.09/2021 has been registered in P/S ACB Baramulla u/s 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 & 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,” said the spokesman.

“During the 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,” he said, adding that “to break this unholy nexus, ACB conducted searches of residential premises of Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi (ARTO Kupwara) son of Abdul Aziz Sofi at Nowshera Boniyar Baramulla and residential premises of Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Agent) son of Wali Mohammad Sheikh  at Vilgam Kupwara in pursuance to the warrants issued by Court of Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Baramulla.”

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

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