DDA Flat Lottery Fraud

. 1/10/09

How did property dealers manage to fake identities and get Delhi Development Authority (DDA) flats in the lottery of 5000 flats held three weeks ago?

That's what the police and the DDA are now investigating.

Speaking to NDTV, Deepak Kumar, a small Delhi entrepreneur admits that he started out at the centre of the DDA scam but then switched sides to help expose it.

In May 2008, Deepak claims that two property dealers asked him to partner with them in a scheme that was clearly illegal.

The plan was that Deepak would introduce the property dealers to a chartered accountant who had been hired by ICICI bank to review loan applications of anyone applying for DDA flats.

"His role was to scrutinise the forms properly, to check the original documents and to see that the applicant was present in person. But he did not check the documents," said Deepak.

The fake applications were filed under the Scheduled Tribe quota for two reasons. Firstly, the odds of getting a flat were much higher in that quota. Also, one of the property dealers was from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, an area dominated by the Meena community, a Scheduled Tribe.

Deepak claims he was told that villagers in Jhunjhunu for Rajasthan had agreed to let their identities be misused.

"They made false promises and took the relevant documents from them," said Deepak.

Deepak says a few months later he realized that the villagers had never agreed to participate in the scheme. In fact, they didn't even know applications were being filed on their behalf.

"They would fill up the forms in the evening and these forms would return with signatures in the morning. It was impossible to visit 50 houses in the night to take signatures of the applicants. That's when I realised that it was a huge scam," said Deepak.

At that point Deepak spoke to Udit Raj, a former Revenue Service officer and a politician.

"Though he admitted that he had been working with them yet he could not overlook this irregularity. Deepak informed me about the scam," said Udit Raj, president, Indian Justice Party.

The two men filed an official complaint with both the police and with the DDA in October. That complaint was ignored and the lottery took place as scheduled in December.

The DDA says that's not a serious lapse. It points out that documents are checked only after the lottery has taken place. Deepak's own role is also being examined by the police.


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