ACB books officials of ARTO office Anantnag for allowing touts and agents to prepare licences

ANANTNAG, August 3: A Joint Surprise Check was conducted by ACB, to look into allegations that many touts and agents are operating in ARTO Office Anantnag in league with the Officials of ARTO Office for preparation of registration and fitness certificates for heavy commercial vehicles, issuing driving licenses etc. in lieu of bribe.

During the surprise check conducted on the driving trial test day it was found that most of application forms for issuance of driving licenses were having pencil written codes found to be abbreviations of names of some touts/agents operating in league with the Board members of ARTO Office Anantnag, who actively influence the working of ARTO Office Anantnag. More over some applicants who appeared for driving test revealed that they had paid bribe for issuance of driving licenses through agents/touts for Board members of ARTO Office Anantnag. It was found that the Officer/Officials of ARTO Office Anantnag, for their ulterior motives were conducting both driving test trials and fitness test of vehicle in hasty manner just to accommodate the applicants recommend by touts/agents. In addition, social, networking chats have been found amongst the touts and ARTO Officials wherein candidate application numbers alongwith the name of touts have been forwarded to the officials for issuance of certificate/licenses.

Accordingly, Case FIR no. 4/2021 was registered in ACB Police Station Anantnag against the Officers/officials of ARTO Office Anantnag and the touts/ agents.

During investigation, search warrants were obtained from the Anticorruption court Anantnag and searches conducted, at the residences of ARTO Shabir Ahmad in Qazigund, Motor Vehicle Inspectors: 1. Shahid Mehboob at D.K. Marg Kulgam, 2. Manzoor Ahmad at Bemina and 3. Asif Amin at Sanat Nagar, Srinagar. Moreover, the residential houses/ shops of touts/ agents: 1. Khalid Hakim at Qazibagh Anantnag, 2. Mubarak Bhat at Laisoo Gudder Kulgam, 3. Zahoor Ahmad at Sarnal Anantnag, 4. Aijaz Wagey at Khanbal Anantnag, 5. Nadeem Ahmad @ Nadeem Photostat at Anantnag, 6. Farooq Mir- Nazrana Photosat near DC office Anantnag were searched. During searches various incriminating documents were seized.

Further investigation of the case is going on.