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Raids on Delhi civic top guns

New Delhi, March 27: The CBI raided the offices and residences of four top Delhi Development Authority officers, including the vice-chairman, and seized Rs 44 lakh, a car, locker keys and liquor bottles.

The searches started around 2 am and continued till late in the evening. They were conducted at 12 places in the capital after the CBI registered two cases against these officers and some private individuals on charges of taking bribe to show undue favours to two private organisations.

The accused officers are vice-chairman Subhash Sharma, director (land) Anand Mohan Saran, commissioner (land disposal) Jagdish Chandra and commissioner (planning) Vijay Risbut. At least five others have also been charged in both the cases.

In the first case, the CBI alleged that Sharma hatched a conspiracy through a contact, Dharam Bir Khattar, in March to benefit DLF Universal Limited, a construction firm. A deal was fixed at Rs 1.10 crore of which, the CBI said, Sharma was to receive Rs 50 lakh and the rest shared between the three DDA officers and Khattar.

Ajay Khanna of DLF, Ravinder Taneja and G.R. Gogia were the others who played a crucial role in fixing the deal.

According to the FIR, Sharma took a decision to favour DLF by granting Floor Area Ratio of 300 for its upcoming project at half the prevailing rate. Sharma was to hold a meeting on March 4 to give the go-ahead orders to DLF. But the meeting, the CBI alleged, did not take place as the accused officers were not given the promised advance money from the bribe amount. Another scheduled meeting was also postponed because of the same reason, the CBI said.

Finally, on March 17, the DDA took the decision in DLF’s favour after Khanna delivered the bribe amount.

The second case was registered against the vice-chairman and the director (land) for entering into a criminal conspiracy and showing undue favour to Modern Public School Education Society in Shalimar Bagh. The case involved stopping cancellation of about four acres of unutilised land of a plot that the DDA had allotted on lease to the society.

Apparently, the DDA wanted to take back the unutilised area. But society director Amritlal Kapoor allegedly bribed the two officers to get the order reversed.

The DDA officers are alleged to have demanded Rs 3 lakh as bribe. Ashok Kapoor, a suspended DDA official, brokered the deal.

Kapoor was placed under suspension after the CBI registered a case against him a few years ago, the agency said.

It is alleged that Kapoor handed over the DDA letter favouring the society and collected Rs 2.5 lakh on March 1 this year from Amritlal Kapoor. This amount is alleged to have been shared by Sharma, Saran, Ashok Kapoor and Khattar.

Of the Rs 44 lakh recovered, Rs 36 lakh was found from the house of Chandra and about Rs 4 lakh from the residence of Risbut. About Rs 3.70 lakh was seized from a Tata Qualis, which was intercepted after it tried to speed away when the sleuths landed at Khattar’s residence.

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