Ghost vehicle registration: 3 govt officials arrested

Bhubaneswar: Days after OTV unearthed a flourishing ghost vehicle registration racket, police have arrested three government employees in this connection. According to sources, police have arrested the Junior Motor Vehicle Inspectors (MVI) of Keonjhar and Chandikhole along with the steno of the Chandikhole Regional Transport Office (RTO).

Keonjhar MVI Nrushingh Panigrahi has been arrested for issuing clearance certificates without due diligence and after taking bribes. Panigrahi has been accused of not conducting a background check and issuing examination certificate after taking bribe. As per preliminary investigation by the police, Panigrahi had recommended issuance of a registration certificate for an oil tanker despite the fact that the chassis number, engine number and dealer invoice were all fake.

“While he was supposed to check the vehicle physically and send the documentation to the RTO, Panigrahi didn’t do it. Panigrahi has also admitted that he did not check the vehicle. We have arrested him and forwarded him to court,” said Keonjhar SP Pradipta Kumar Jena.

The junior MVI and steno of Chandikhole RTO have also been arrested.

On the other hand, Keonjhar Police has also seized three more tankers from Manguli area in Cuttack, which were operating with fake registration.

Earlier, the police had arrested two brokers involved in this racket. Moreover, 15 cases in Keonjhar Police station and 6 cases in Barbil Police station have been registered.

Though a number of tankers are running with registrations done in the name of a ghost vehicle, the Weights and Measures department has said that it is impossible to obtain the Weights and Measures department license in the absence of the vehicle.

“It doesn’t seem probable that a without the vehicle a certificate has been issued,” said Sanatan Bari, the assistant controller of Weights and Measures department.

Notably, since companies are opting only for new model vehicles, miscreants are creating and using these ghost registration details to win tenders in the name of new vehicles. In reality, they never really buy new vehicles and continue to use their old vehicles after winning the transport contract