The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), SAS Nagar, on Thursday dismissed a district manager and a senior assistant in-charge of books distribution in Ludhiana district for their alleged involvement in the 2012 Ludhiana book scam. The duo has been found guilty of misappropriation of funds to tune of about Rs 1 crore in books meant for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Also, registration of an FIR against district manager Anil Kumar Sharma and senior assistant Ravinder Kumar has been ordered.
The orders were issued by PSEB chairperson Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal.
Meanwhile, Sharma was already under suspension after the scam surfaced in 2012 during an audit search.
Commenting on the issue, Dhaliwal said, “This is a two-year-old scam but inquiry into the matter has been concluded now. Both have been found guilty of committing fraud of about Rs 1 crore and I have also ordered registration of FIR against them. Besides dismissing the duo, the board has also reprimanded two senior women assistants Kulwant Kaur and Rajinder Kaur.”
On June 20, 2012, Sharma had been placed under suspension after it was learnt that he had not been giving proper information to the management about the books being sent by the board under the SSA.
An audit report suggested that from April 1, 2012 to August 31, 2012, there had been misappropriation of funds around Rs 1 crore.
The board then marked an inquiry into the matter.
The inquiry was conducted by former PU registrar BL Gupta, who physically verified the data provided to him and also questioned in person the officials involved in the scam. The inquiry report, meanwhile, stated that while the stock list showed certain books but the same were not available in the store. There were entries that certain schools had been provided with the stock, but when checked there was no such supply to the schools.
The report suggested that the district manager and the senior assistant were involved in these wrong entries and when calculated the misappropriation in funds turned out to be that of Rs 1 crore.
Also, Sharma had taken an advance of Rs 16 lakh but no adjustment of this amount was provided by him. Though Sharma had been giving his reply, the board was not satisfied with the same and finally on Thursday decided the case.