Delhi: Man poses as Union minister’s close aide to cheat people

The victims were cheated of nearly Rs 40 lakh over a ‘fake promise’ of getting them inducted as members of either of the two national commissions – Minority and Schedule Castes.
Express illustrations.
Express illustrations.

NEW DELHI: An awful surprise awaited Kerala native Thomas P Joseph and his friend GM Govindappa when they visited the office of Union minister Virender Kumar, enquiring about a letter ‘issued’ by the minister, in which one of them had been nominated for a post as a member of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

“The Minister has signed no such letter,” came the reply from officials at the ministry.

It was then that they realised that nearly Rs 40 lakh had been cheated out of them by an acquaintance over a ‘fake promise’ of getting them inducted as members of either of the two national commissions – Minority and Schedule Castes.

The matter came to light after they approached a local court which then directed the police to register a case on the complaint lodged by TP Joseph. An FIR was lodged on June 14 under section 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

In his complaint, Joseph claimed he used to meet the accused near South Indian Kutti Shop on Jantar Mantar Road, where the latter introduced himself as a representative of Union social justice minster Dr Virender Kumar, further asserting that he personally knows Union minister of commerce Piyush Goyal.

As per the FIR, the accused told Joseph that the Ministry was searching for “social workers” who will be nominated for the post of Member, National Minority Commission following which the latter gave the biodata of his cousin brother. Joseph was told to pay Rs 1,000 for the application form and Rs 25 lakh separately.

“The accused told the complainant that he can deposit the said donation in parts in his account and when the transaction is completed, he will give the receipt of the donation by depositing the said amount with BJP,” an excerpt from the FIR, accessed by this newspaper, read.

Joseph kept depositing the amount with the accused and also gave the resume of his friend GM Govindappa who also sought a position at National Scheduled Castes Commission.

After some time, the complainant felt suspicious and decided to enquire at the office of the Union minister where they were “shocked” to find that the minister had never issued any such letter. “The accused induced the complainant and obtained a total sum of Rs 39,33,000 in the name of donation to the BJP and misappropriated the same and used the same,” the FIR read.

‘Forged’ letter for post in SC, minority panels

According to the FIR, the accused sent a purported “forged” letter to the victims in February 2022 which showed Union minister Piyush Goyal, in a letter to Union minister Virendra Kumar, had recommended the complainant’s friend GM Govindappa for a member of the Commission. The accused shared the letter via WhatsApp.

Further, the accused sent another such letter purportedly issued by the social justice minister which said Govindappa has been nominated

for the post. However, the FIR said the alleged letters were not available with the complainant. Despite repeated attempts, no immediate response was available from Delhi Police.

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