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RTI exposed MP top cop's fraud

New Delhi: Swaraj Puri, who was ejected last week, from the post of Madhya Pradesh DGP, is the first major casualty of the one-year-old Right to Information Act in India.

On the basis of the information obtained under the RTI Act, a special court in Indore, directed state government to register a case of corruption, forgery and cheating against Puri.

The information provided three months ago, led to a complaint alleging that Puri had filed a false certificate in order to obtain admission for his son in 2001, under 'NRI-sponsored quota' in an engineering college of MP. It led to a series of events, forcing government to take action against the DGP.

June 9: On an RTI application filed by a journalist, the public information officer of Govindram Sakseria Institute of Technology and Schiece, registrar Mahipal Singh, said that a police officer's son, Shreyas Puri, was given admission in 2001 under NRI-sponsored quota and, accordingly, he paid fees of $16,500 or its equivalent in rupees in five years.

June 16: Responding to Kheriwal's second application seeking further information, Mahipal Singh said that as per the college's records, the NRI who sponsored Shreyas Puri was Babulal Somani, who was claimed his grandfather.

September 6: On the basis of the two RTI replies obtained by Kheriwal, Mahesh Garg, a former BJP corporator, filed a complaint before Indore special judge, Akhilesh Pandya, for criminal proceedings against DGP Puri.

Sept 14: Garg's counsel, Manohar Dalal, addressed arguments before Pandya.
Sept 15: Pandya ordered the economic offences wing of the state to investigate Garg's complaint.
Sept 17: EOW initiated an inquiry but did not register an FIR against Puri.

Sept 20: Dalal served a contempt of court notice on EOW's director general, A R Pawar.
Sept 21: EOW finally registered an FIR against Puri.
Sept 22: Shivraj Singh Chauhan government replaced Puri with Pawar as DGP of the state.

EOW, under its new chief, O P Garg, is due to submit a report to the Indore court on Sept 27. The issues likely to come up in the matter includes the question of arresting Puri, who has been transferred as the director general of home guards.



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