Shivnaresh Gupta (22) and Raviprakash Gupta (20) were operating an authorised e-sewa kendra in Kandivli (W)
Adding yet another dent to the government’s plan of making Aadhaar card a mandatory document, officials from the Charkop police raided an authorised e-sewa kendra in Kandivli (W) on Sunday night and arrested its operators for issuing legitimate Aadhaar cards to applicants lacking mandatory documents.
Shivnaresh Gupta and Raviprakash Gupta
Acting on a tip-off, the Charkop police sent the informant and a constable in plain clothes to the e-sewa kendra at Bunder Pakhadi to get Aadhaar cards without submitting necessary documents. The operators here asked the duo to pay R2,000 for two cards and handed them a receipt.
The accused even assured them that the cards would be delivered to their respective residences via post within 20 days. Upon receiving confirmation from the constable, the police team raided the e-sewa kendra and arrested Shivnaresh Gupta (22) and Raviprakash Gupta (20). They seized the computers, printers and biometric scanners iris and thumb and thousands of rupees in cash.
Assistant Police Inspector (API) Pradeep Raorane said, “The accused confessed to their crime during interrogation. They revealed that despite being a legitimate e-sewa kendra, they would operate after-hours.
The duo said more than 500 applicants would visit the centre daily. While those with necessary documents and a prior appointment were enrolled for free, they would charge anywhere between Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 from those without documents.
Also, backdoor entry was provided to applicants turning up at the centre without taking prior appointments by charging them Rs 200. Though we had information, we didn’t believe it until we sent a dummy customer and a constable in plain clothes to confirm it. After that, we raided the centre.”
Cops suspect that such activities are being executed on a larger scale and several people have managed to procure Aadhaar cards by bribing authorised e-sewa kendra operators. “Both the accused were booked under Sections 420, 464, 467, 468, 470 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. They were produced in the court yesterday and were remanded in police custody till August 21. Further investigation is on,” said Raorane.