CBI unearths big scholarship scam | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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CBI unearths big scholarship scam

lucknow Updated: Dec 24, 2010 18:28 IST
HT Correspondent

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has unearthed a multi-crore scholarship racket in Allahabad district and suspects the fraud could be prevalent in other districts too.

During investigation, the sleuths found the scholarship amount released by the central government was deposited in the accounts of fake schools. The owners of these institutions withdrew Rs1.13 crore from the accounts, while the social welfare department officers and district inspectors of school dispatched a report that scholarship was distributed among the beneficiaries.

The Centre had allocated Rs80 crore for distribution of scholarship among Scheduled Caste students in Allahabad for the 1998-2000 period. The premier probe agency has filed a charge-sheet against two-dozen persons, including bank branch managers, district inspectors of school, officers of the district welfare department and school owners.

Talking to Hindustan Times, a Central Bureau of Investigation officer said the agency was directed to probe the scam covering the two-year period (1998-2000) after PL Negi, director (Vigilance) in the ministry of social justice and empowerment, lodged a complaint with the central government regarding large-scale irregularities in distribution of the scholarship in Allahabad district.

The investigation revealed that 113 schools were running merely on paper in the district and their managers had opened accounts in the branches of the Allahabad Gramin Bank located at Bamrauli, Mohammadbad and at the state public service commission.

As the sleuths probed deeper, the involvement of the district inspectors of school, bank managers, officers in the district social welfare department and owners of the private schools was exposed.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has nabbed one Vijay Kumar Kesrwani, who was running fake schools, and Suresh Chandra, a senior clerk in the office of the district inspector of schools.

"The remaining culprits involved in the scam will be also taken into custody soon," the officer said.

"Hundreds of schools were running on paper and scholarship was distributed among the non-existent students. No physical verification of the schools or the students was done by the respective district inspectors of school or the officers of the social welfare department who were appointed in Allahabad from 1998 to 2000", the CBI officer said.

"It's just the tip of the iceberg," a CBI officer probing the scam said.

"We were told to investigate three cases of the scholarship scam for the 1998-2000 period." Similar amounts were released for other districts too, he added.

Probe findings

During the investigation, the sleuths found the scholarship amount released by the Centre was deposited in the accounts of fake schools.

The owners of these institutions withdrew Rs1.13 crore from the accounts, while the social welfare department officers and district inspectors of school dispatched a report that scholarship was distributed among the beneficiaries.

113 schools were found running merely on paper in the district and their managers had opened accounts in branches of Allahabad Gramin Bank at Bamrauli, Mohammadbad and at the state public service commission.

The involvement of the DIOS, bank managers, officers in the district social welfare department and owners of the private schools was exposed.