THE STATE Government on Thursday permitted the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) to file an FIR against DGP Swaraj Puri in the alleged fraud case in connection with his son’s admission to an engineering college under NRI quota in 2001.
Special Judge Akhilesh Pandya had directed the EOW on September 15 to register a criminal case against the DGP, his son Shreyas Puri and Indore businessman Babulal Somani under Section 156 (3) of Cr PC for hiding facts to facilitate Shreyas’s admission to the SGITS. The EOW has been directed to submit an inquiry report into the alleged fraud by September 27 and complete investigation within a month.
An EOW team from Indore led by SP Yogendra Kushwaha on Thursday met the DGP in his office in the evening to record his statement. “Yes, EOW team called on me today”, Puri confirmed to Hindustan Times.
Even as the EOW is investigating the fraud, it has transpired that the DGP also violated the All India Service (Conduct) Rules.
He did not intimate the Government about the money he had received for education of his son under the NRI quota. This was in violation of the Sub rule 2 of rule 11 of All India Service (Conduct) Rules 1968. The rule says, “No member of the service shall accept any gift without prior permission of the Government if the value of the gift exceeds Rs 1,000.”
The rule also provides for obtaining prior permission from the Government a month in advance for taking any financial benefit.
Sources in the Home Department said the DGP did not furnish any information about accepting sponsorship for his son, which was said to be to the tune of Rs 8 lakh.
The sources said the amount of sponsorship also violated the sub-rule (4) of 16 of the conduct rules. It says, “Every member of the service shall intimate the Government in respect of each transaction, whose value exceeds Rs 15,000 within a month of completion of such transactions.” The DGP also seems to have flouted Section 11 (1) of service rules which says,
“A member of the service may accept gift from his near relatives or from his personal friends having no official dealings with them on occasions such as anniversaries, wedding, funerals and religious functions when the making of gift is in conformity with the prevailing religious and social practice, but he shall make a report to the Government if the value of such gift exceeds Rs 5,000”.
When contacted, the DGP admitted that although he did not intimate the Government about the sponsorship, his wife, an employee of the School Education Department, did as per the prevailing rules.
However, Commissioner, Public Instruction, L S Baghel told Hindustan Times that the DGP’s wife Savita Puri did not intimate about the sponsorship. “She only intimated about admission of her son in an Indore-based engineering college,” he added.
This, however, raises the question as to why the government did not bother to check what was the sponsorship amount and whether the intimation was in conformity with the existing rules.
The Special Judge issued the order in response to a private complaint filed by Mahesh Garg through his counsel Manohar Dalal. The complainant alleged that Shreyas obtained admission in GSITS, Indore, under NRI sponsored quota in 2001 on the basis that his grandfather Babulal Somani resides in the US. Somani paid US $ 3000 a year as Shreyas’s fee besides US $ 1500 as caution money. In all, he paid US $ 16,500 (Rs 7.75 lakh) for Shreyas who completed BE in April 2006.
According to Dalal, Somani is neither a paternal nor a maternal grandfather of Shreyas. In the local voter list, the name of Swaraj Puri’s father is Vidyasagar Puri.