Cuttack: Allegations of misappropriation of money collected as fines from erring commuters during the Covid-19 lockdown have come to fore in Odisha.
These serious allegations have been levelled against the Commissionerate Police by a commuter who was fined for violating the lockdown restrictions in Cuttack.
On July 20, Sujit Sahu of Angul district was caught near Chauliaganj Police Station in Cuttack for venturing out of his house in violation of the restrictions imposed. Sahu was fined Rs 200 for violating the guidelines and Chauliaganj Police had issued him a receipt after collecting penalty.
Later, Sahu filed an RTI application and sought detailed information regarding the penalty from the Commissionerate Police.
“I received the RTI reply along with a duplicate copy of the receipt from Commissionerate Police yesterday. However, I was shocked to find that the fine amount was mentioned as Rs 100 instead of Rs 200, which I actually paid. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and the scam may run into crores of rupees. I request all to seek information through RTI and check whether the amount they had paid as fine were deposited with the government or not,” Sahu alleged.
Following these allegations, RTI activist Pratap Mohanty urged the top police officials and the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to conduct a high-level probe into the matter.
“The duplicate copy of the receipt issued by the CP mentioned that Sujit Sahu was charged Rs 100 as fine while the actual amount he had paid was Rs 200. The receipt was not signed either. I have tweeted tagging Commissionerate Police, DGP, CM Naveen Patnaik, 5Ts Secretary and the Vigilance demanding a high-level probe into the matter,” said Mohanty.
Commenting on the matter, Cuttack DCP, Pratik Singh informed that the matter has been taken very seriously. Singh said he has directed a senior police officer to conduct a probe.