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Govt knew of Khattar's links with judges
R Prema in New Delhi | May 27, 2003 20:26 IST
On the first fortnight of every year, the Government of India circulates a list of 'undesirable contactmen' to all its secretaries. Figuring on this list is Dharamvir Khattar, a Delhi-based middleman arrested in connection with the Delhi Development Authority scam along with Delhi high court judge Shameet Mukherjee.
The list, drawn up by security and intelligence agencies on the basis of various inputs, contains names of those known for 'resorting to corrupt or irregular practices in their dealings with official agencies'.
The list points out that departments and ministries should be careful in dealing with them, as the suspects are either operating there or are likely to come.
Khattar, a former DDA employee who started fixing deals and solving land problems of people, has been described in the list as a man hobnobbing with courts and agencies dealing with land in the capital.
The departments mentioned in the list where Khattar should not be entertained are 'DDA, NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation), MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), Delhi Jal Board and courts'.
The list only proves that the government knew about Khattar's dealings with judges and courts.
No surprise, Mukherjee had been using mobile phones supplied by Khattar. The Central Bureau of Investigation zeroed in on the judge after tapping calls between him and Khattar.
Inquiries with the Cabinet Secretariat show that the government has been issuing this list since 1996 to ensure that such unscrupulous persons are not given accreditation as representatives of any firms.
Officers are asked to avoid associating with unscrupulous contactmen and accepting gifts from them.
The heads of ministries and departments are required to keep a tab on the government servants dealing with those on the list.
A note circulated by the government regarding the UCM says: "Even official dealings with UCM should be discouraged. Nefarious activities of these individuals should not be allowed and they should not be allowed sponsorship of government projects. Foreign missions also need to be fully briefed about these undesirable individuals and firms so that they can keep a close watch over their activities. Government may not itself take steps to promote or support the business ventures abroad of persons in the list but any contracts, etc on their own need not be interfered with.
"There should be discreet dissemination of the names in the list amongst officials not below the rank of deputy secretary."
For ensuring that the confidentiality of the list is maintained, the covering note of the list says: "Names of UCM should be conveyed preferably orally or in writing separately. If any copies are made of the list, it should be ensured that each copy is accounted for.
"If the names of the persons in this list are to be conveyed to lower ranking officials below deputy secretaries, it may be done orally and discreetly and chief vigilance officers in the ministry/departments/undertakings should maintain a list of such subordinate officers to whom such oral communication has been made from time to time."
It has been stressed that 'copies of the list should never be sent to receptions'.
It requires the secretaries to 'selectively convey name of the UCM to the heads of departments and public sector undertakings under the administrative control of their respective ministries, with suitable instructions to maintain secrecy of the list'.
More reports from Delhi
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