UP govt taken for a ride, pays lakhs for false tour
NEW DELHI: A company claiming to have been established by Delhi government duped an Uttar Pradesh government department of lakhs of rupees after offering to arrange an overseas study tour for a senior official. A senior Delhi Police officer confirmed the probe to TOI and said arrests were likely in a day or two.
Police suspect the scam to have been perpetrated by an organised gang led by a couple. Other government departments in Delhi and UP might been fleeced too. The first complaint was filed on July 10 and the case was filed after elaborate enquiry on July 22. “A case was registered as the complaint establishes prima facie a criminal offence. We are probing the matter on a priority,” a senior cop said.
Sanjay Srivastava, secretary, Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission, filed a complaint saying that a company called NCTSR had contacted Desh Deepak Verma, chairman of the UP electricity board, about a study tour related to power and infrastructure in Singapore and Thailand on December 24 last year. The trip was scheduled for March 3-9 this year.
The power department got the tour approved by the government, and a sum of Rs 4.43 lakh was paid to NCTSR for the chairman’s enrolment. Verma personally paid Rs 1.73 lakh to take along his wife and daughter. However, the complaint said, the trip never materialised due to “visa issues”. When the power department cancelled the booking and asked for a refund, NCTSR provided excuse after excuse. When pressured, the company promised to make the refunds through cheques in May, but nothing happened, the complaint alleged.
According to the FIR, NCTSR mentioned different Delhi address in each letter. “The letter of March 27 gives Mayur Vihar III as the address, and the April 17 letter, Ghaziabad. The first letter in December mentioned Triveni Apartment in Jhilmil Colony, east Delhi, as the address,” Srivastava said. NCTSR’s website claims it was established by “Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Department of Labour, New Delhi”.
Reacting to this, a Delhi government official said on Tuesday, “Delhi government has nothing to do with this organisation. In fact, it only came to our notice on Tuesday that the government has been named on the company’s website. We will see how to deal with the matter.”
On Tuesday, a person who picked up TOI’s call on the mobile number mentioned in the letters and on the NCTSR website asked for queries to be sent on email but there were no replies till the filing of this report.