The Punjab government on Monday night ordered the suspension of three officers of the education department for their suspected role in the book purchase scam.
The suspended officers are director, public instructions, elementary (DPI-E) Pritpal Kaur, SAS Nagar district education officer Vinod Kumar and finance officer, Punjab School Education Board, Gurtej Singh.
The trio had been handpicked by education minister Sikander Singh Maluka as members of the panel for the purpose of logistic procurement for school education, bypassing the office of the director general, school education (DGSE).
The panel had picked a shady trader for the supply of library books. At a press conference on Sunday, the minister had justified his decision to choose the panel members.
The officers, who were earlier issued showcause notices, were suspended pending inquiry under Rule 8 of the Punjab Service Rules, which could lead to their dismissal from service, if found guilty. Their suspension was confirmed by principal secretary, education, Anjali Bhawra.
Meanwhile, the five Ambala-based suppliers, who were awarded the tender to supply science lab kits worth Rs 7.5 crore by the panel, have started picking up their consignment delivered in some schools.