Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Court official reaches Rajiv Bhavan for forfeiture

Over non-payment of dues to DTC

DPCC chief J.P. Agarwal sees it as an attempt to malign the party

NEW DELHI: In a major embarrassment to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, a court-appointed official and two Delhi Transport Corporation officials landed at its headquarters at Rajiv Bhavan here on Saturday to carry out “kudki” (forfeiture) of property and sealing of the premises over non-payment of dues.

The dues relate to a rally at the Boat Club in 1988 for which the DPCC had hired DTC buses.

The incident came as a shock to DPCC president J. P. Agarwal who termed it “shameful”. Seeing a deliberate ploy of the Delhi Government in the exercise to malign the party, Mr. Agarwal said it needed to be probed “who sent them (the officials)”.

Asked if he had approached any government functionary to intervene in the matter, an angry Mr. Agarwal said: “Why should I talk to them? They did not deem it fit to discuss the matter with us first.”

Noting that the visit by the court and DTC officials had come at a time when a Congress government was in power in Delhi, Mr. Agarwal said: “They could have called us. We would have paid every penny which was due to them. We do not want to usurp government money. But they decided to act otherwise.”

Sources in the party said that for the 1988 rally at the Boat Club the DPCC had hired about 725 DTC buses. A sum of nearly Rs.1.69 lakh was to be paid to the DTC. However, since the amount was not paid, the DTC went to court to realise it.

Then about three years ago, when Ram Babu Sharma was the DPCC president, he made attempts to settle the case out of court. Sources said the principal amount of Rs.1.69 lakh was then paid to the DTC. But the matter lingered on and on Friday the court and DTC officials arrived at the DPCC office at about 11-15 in the morning to carry out the forfeiture procedure.

“On reaching the office they said the DPCC owes the DTC a sum of Rs.5.50 lakh and they will carry away the furniture and seal the premises. But they had not brought any vehicle along and they went away saying they would be getting a truck for carting the goods away. A notice was also delivered by the officials,” said a party source, adding that the incident was absolutely avoidable.