Photo by Sanjay Jog

The Azad Maidan police have booked a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employee for allegedly impersonating another employee with a similar name and duping the civic body to the tune of Rs 43 lakh. One of them used the documents of the other to acquire a job in the BMC. However, when civic officials demanded documents for verification, the one using forged documents refused to come to work, managing to successfully remain absent for the last four years.

According to the Azad Maidan police officers, during scrutiny of employee documents, similar documents were found for two employees with the name Sopan Maruti Sabale, one working as a building supervisor/ technical assistant, having joined as a peon in 1989, while the other was working as a gardener in the city waterworks department in Byculla, having joined the BMC in 1993 as labourer.

During an enquiry in 2017, BMC officials found that both employees had the same birthdates and their school-leaving certificates were identical. At the time of joining, both had submitted copies of their caste certificates, as is the requirement. But in 2017, becoming suspicious of their identical identities, the BMC officials demanded to see their original caste certificates. After this demand, the Sabale who worked as a gardener stopped attending duty, remaining absent since September 2017. The other Sabale, however, continues to work as building supervisor in the F-south ward office in Parel.

The incident came to light when the officials wrote a letter, marked with the address of the gardener’s native place at Aaptale in Junnar, Pune, which was received by father of the other Sabale, who alerted his son about the letter. Building supervisor Sabale had then alerted BMC officials about the letter, police said.

Following the revelation, the BMC officials on Thursday approached the Azad Maidan police station and lodged a complaint against the gardener for allegedly acquiring a job and duping the civic body of Rs 43.31 lakh, the salary paid to the gardener Sabale since he joined in 1993 until September 2017, till he was working

Senior Inspector Bhushan Belnekar of Azad Maidan police station confirmed the registration of an FIR under section 419 (cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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Free Press Journal