Cheque’ out his honesty: Auto driver returns Rs 1.9 cr cheque

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Ahmedabad: He could have been a billionaire overnight, but autorickshaw driver Raju Bharwad chose honesty over a cheque of Rs 1.9 crore sent in his name by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.

Bharwad was surprised to receive the cheque, which also had the name of his mother as the co-recipient.

The accompanying letter said the money was being given to them in lieu of 10 bigha land that they owned at Sanand near the Tata Nano plant.
Autorickshaw driver Raju Bharwad (above) returned a cheque of Rs 1.9 crore, saying his monthly income of Rs 6,000 was enough to sustain his family
At a time when complaints of violence, land-grabbing and forgery are on the rise in Sanand after the relocation of Tata Nano plant from West Bengal, Bharwad, who stays in Ahmedabad, rushed to the authorities to return the cheque.

“We did have 10 bigha land in that area but my father sold that plot for Rs 9 lakh 25 years ago. Today, several families are staying there,” he said, adding that the ownership of the land was not transferred officially and had remained with Raju and his mother.

“If I had accepted the money, the authorities would have bulldozed the houses on that plot,” Raju said.

He is now trying to ensure that the ownership of the land is transferred to the right owners.

“I earn about Rs 6,000 a month by driving an autorickshaw and have four bigha land,” Raju said, adding that the money was sufficient.

Raju’s honesty has surprised government officials, too, who said they have seen many disputes over land ownership but someone returning a cheque of such a big amount is unheard of.

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