Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, has issued memos to two senior employees of its pension cell, asking them to explain why they had failed in detecting the fraud, the quantum of which has reached Rs 1.63 crore.
"I have issued memos to assistant registrar and superintendent of pension cell. They have to explain how such a big scam escaped their eyes," said PU registrar Col GS Chadha (retd).
Chadha said the magnitude of the scam allegedly committed by daily wage clerk Pooja Bagga was turning out to be a lot greater than what they had initially ascertained.
"In the accounts of April 2015 onwards, we detected pilferage of `92 lakh. But now, on scrutinising previous records, we have so far found an additional fraud of Rs 71 lakh," Chadha said.
Commenting on if Bagga had named any of her accomplices, the registrar revealed that the accused had named one employee who had helped her in committing the scam but said he could not reveal the individual's name as investigations were still underway.
"The internal inquiry is still on. We have formed a higher-level committee (five-member committee) to inquire into the whole episode. Once, the internal inquiry is over, we will get a police case registered," Chadha said.
The five-member committee will be headed by retired accountant general Amrik Singh Bhatia while deputy registrar establishment will serve as its convener. The committee will include PU's former finance and development officer and ex-registrar BL Gupta, PU fellow and professor at University Business School (UBS) Karamjit Singh and UBS's professor Sanjay Kaushik. The committee will investigate the extent of misappropriation of funds by scrutinising all the previous records of PU's pension section.
The registrar said they would also investigate other sections of PU to check if any frauds had occurred in them.