Staff Reporter

The officer had `forged' his date of birth to gain nearly 35 months of extra service

NEW DELHI: After reinvestigating the complaint against Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Lalit Varma, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday charged him with forging his date of birth (DoB) in order to gain nearly 35 months of extra service. The accused had used the DoB of his younger brother for the purpose.

Earlier, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the cadre controlling authority, had filed the complaint against Dr. Varma in 2002. Following investigations, the CBI appealed for closure in a Delhi court on January 14, 2005.

However, the DoPT protested the appeal and filed a petition in this regard on July 30, 2005. Subsequently, the court criticised the CBI for shoddy investigations and directed it to investigate the case further on December 12, 2005.

During investigations, the CBI rummaged through various records pertaining to Dr. Varma's date of birth. These included the documents furnished by his father, M.P. Varma, the records with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the relevant school and college records. The form, which he had submitted to appear in the Civil Services Examinations in 1983, was also examined. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory also examined these documents.

Investigations revealed that in all the documents, Dr. Varma had mentioned his DoB as March 1, 1959. Even in the application form for the Civil Services Examinations in 1983 -- he became an IAS officer in 1984 -- Dr. Varma had mentioned his DoB as March 1, 1959.

However, he also added words -- "Contested Under Correction. Actual DoB is 13.02.1962" -- alongside the box provided for the DoB. In the attestation form too, Dr. Varma filled in his correct DoB but had again added: "to be corrected and recorded. Actual DoB as 13.2.1962". Subsequently, his DoB was mentioned as March 1, 1959 in every other document.

Interestingly, the "new DoB" of Dr. Varma was actually the DoB of his younger brother, Sudheer Varma. In order to accommodate his elder brother's alleged fraud, Sudheer too filed an affidavit changing his DoB from February 2, 1962, to February 2, 1963. The CBI said Dr. Varma, currently posted as Commissioner (Allahabad), was earlier suspended from service on charges of financial irregularities when posted in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.