Software tricked for  Rs 67.99-crore fraud in Haryana


Artificial intelligence can be easily and dangerously tricked! In one such fraud involving Rs 67.99 crore, the Comptroller and Auditor General has detected 5,513 cases of duplicate entries of instalments against properties by fooling the official software at Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP).

Calling for an FIR, the CAG submitted its related report before the state Assembly on Tuesday. The Plot and Property Management (PPM) software detects if same cheque or receipt number is mentioned. But to commit the fraud, “duplicate receipts were generated by inserting zero or some other digit at the start of cheque or receipt number to avoid detection in the system”, the audit observed. The same cheques or drafts deposited by property owners were credited more than once in the same account or in the account of some other allottee.

Citing an instance, an owner of two plots in Panchkula deposited Rs 12 lakh instalment against one plot, but another receipt of the same amount was issued against his second plot too.

The CAG observed that the amount of excess credit in allottee ledgers worked out to Rs 33.75 crore in 2,750 cases. To check genuineness of credit given to allottees, a physical test check of 104 files (38 in Panchkula, 46 in Faridabad and 20 in Ambala) related to 52 pairs of duplicate entries was conducted. The CAG observed that no receipts were kept in 48 pairs of physical files, but credit was given in PPM system. In the remaining four cases, duplicate or bogus receipts were kept fraudulently.

These frauds couldn’t be checked as Estate Officers didn’t reconcile the amounts credited in accounts of allottees with bank accounts of the HSVP, said the CAG.

“The system is required to be improved to check and detect such type of frauds and thorough investigation may be conducted for fixing responsibility against defaulting officials,” it said.

The HSVP Chief Administrator viewed the matter seriously during exit conference with the CAG and stated that the matter would be investigated. It was also added that a module would be included in the PPM to reconcile the amounts received in bank accounts with those adjusted in ledgers of allottees.

D Suresh, outgoing HSVP Chief Administrator, said a thorough inquiry would be conducted before registration of an FIR.