CBI registers case against BOC officials for empanelling newspapers using forged docs

The agency has registered a case against unidentified officials of BOC, along with Harish Lamba, Aarti Lamba and Ashwani Kumar

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jul 13, 2021 3:18 PM  | 2 min read

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has unearthed a new scam involving Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC), earlier DAVP, in which officials used forged documents to empanel newspapers for getting government ads. The agency has registered a case against unidentified officials of BOC, along with Harish Lamba, Aarti Lamba and Ashwani Kumar.

CBI's preliminary enquiry, which was initiated on the basis of a joint surprise check on August 30, 2019, has revealed that unidentified public servants of the BOC, in collusion with the Lambas, got six newspapers - two editions each of the Arjun Times, the Health of Bharat and the Delhi Health - empanelled with the BOC by furnishing false and fabricated documents.

During the surprise check, the CBI learned that these newspapers got empanelled in collusion with unidentified officials of the BOC using false documents, including certificates of chartered accountants. The advertisements given to these papers resulted in a loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer, the CBI said in its FIR.

"It was further alleged that the above named newspapers were shown to have printed and circulated around 1.5 lakh copies (each containing eight pages) per day whereas, the collective circulation of the said newspapers may not be more than 100-150 copies per day," the FIR alleges.

It also alleged that no active printing and publishing work was being carried out at the addresses of the publishers or the press of the said newspapers.

According to CBI enquiry, the documents submitted in 2017 for the Arjun Times shows Ashwani Kumar as the publisher and Harish Lamba as the owner or proprietor of the newspaper. Further, the name of the printing press was shown as Dolphin Pictography in Jhandewalan Extension, New Delhi-110055.

Enquiry revealed that Darshan Singh Negi is the owner of Dolphin Pictography, and he does not know any person namely Harish Lamba or Ashwani Kumar. The newspaper, Arjun Times, was never printed from this printing press. The chartered accountant certificate were forged to show the number of copies printed per publishing day as 25,800. However, no copy of the newspaper was ever printed from Dolphin Pictography.

The CBI found similar irregularities in connection with the other newspapers as well. The agency has alleged that these newspapers fraudulently and dishonestly got empanelled with the DAVP and got advertisements of Rs 62.24 lakh from 2016 to 2019. According to officials, this amount may be more if calculated from the starting of the empanelment of the newspapers.

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