Chandigarh: Gives ‘undue’ beneficiaries 15 days to submit replies
The infamous booth allotment scam that had rocked the city at the beginning of 2011 and was subsequently raised even in Parliament after some influential names like those of of Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Advisor Pradip Mehra and former Mayor Pradeep Chhabra found their way into the inquiry report is far from over. The UT Estate Office today issued show-cause notices to four of the total of 88 beneficiaries in the booth allotment.
Those who have been issued the notices have been given 15 days to submit their replies. Officials in the UT Estate Office said that no specific criteria was followed in serving notices to these four and every day four-five beneficiaries randomly selected will be served similar notices till the entire list is exhausted.
Sources in the UT Estate Office said that the show-cause notices have been served, based on the allegations raised in the inquiry report. According to sources, records of all the 88 beneficiaries who were allotted the booths were checked thoroughly and then matched with the points of contentions raised in the over 700-page inquiry report.
An extensive report was submitted by former ADC P S Shergill in March 2011, who was directed to inquire into the matter by the UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil after several complaints were received regarding illegalities involved in the allotment of booths in Sector 41 market.
Speaking to Newsline, UT Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta said, “We had been preparing the notices for some time after going through the records all over again along with the inquiry report. The notices are being sent as per the directions of the UT Administrator under the supervision of the Estate officer. Notices will be sent to all the beneficiaries in the days to come and once we get all the replies, the further course of action will be decided.”
It was following complaints from various quarters that Patil ordered an inquiry in March 2010 and the report was submitted exactly a year later. In his report, Shergill had said that the scam is worth crores of crores rupees and that the booths were illegally allotted to more than 100 people.
The booths were allegedly allotted to some affluent businessmen through the influence of officials on the basis of forged documents. According to Shergill’s report, in most of the cases the allotments were made defying rules.
The fraud allotment of booths was made particularly from 2002 to 2008.