3 months on, no headway in Karnal's multi-crore wheat scam

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2015 20:12 IST

There has been no headway in the multi-crore wheat scam in the district in which two officials, including a politically well-connected individual, were allegedly involved and accused of masterminding the large-scale irregularities.

Following an internal audit by the state food and supplies department (FSD), district food and supplies controller (DFSC) Ravinder Malik and food inspector Surinder Hooda (both under suspension) were booked under Sections 420 (cheating) and 419 (impersonation) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sadar police station here on April 19.

The criminal proceedings were initiated after a 13-member team of the FSD allegedly found misappropriation of 18,213 quintal foodgrains worth Rs 2.64 crore when the accused were posted at Karnal.

Contrary to wheat warehouse norms, damaged foodgrains were kept along with sound stocks.

The internal audit said that the misappropriation could have taken place at various warehouses with suspected involvement of more officials in the scam and recommended a criminal action against the accused.

Malik is son-in-law of Congress MLA from Meham Anand Singh Dangi, a confidant of the former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Raj Kumar Kaushik, head of the Karnal police's special investigating team (SIT), told HT on Thursday that accused Surinder Hooda had secured anticipatory bail.

He said that Mailk's seemed to have erred as a supervising authority, but he was yet to be questioned by the SIT.

Malik, who is attached with the FSD headquarters in Chandigarh, is known for wielding influence in the bureaucratic circles due to his family ties.

Sources in the district administration said that Malik remained posted in Karnal for nearly 10 years, which is an unusual.

In a police complaint filed by the FSD deputy director (strorage), Malik and Hooda were allegedly behind the disappearance of 36,426 bags of wheat between 2013 and 2015 from different warehouses in Karnal district.

A bag of wheat procured by Haryana agencies contains 50kg wheat and the current wheat MSP is `1,450 per quintal.

The accused officials are also charged with replacing food grade wheat with rotten grains to justify the stocks.

Sources said the internal audit report of the FSD, submitted to the directorate in January this year, revealed that at Jundla wheat procurement centre, a total of 23,807 wheat bags were found missing whereas 12,619 bags were found missing in the stocks at Karnal.

Similarly, it was found during the internal probe that large stocks of procured wheat were allegedly replaced with inconsumable grains.
"It was found that the damaged wheat had not rotted naturally at the godowns, but the rotten grains were brought from somewhere and then showed as the procured stock. Even the bags were not the ones in which procured wheat was packed. As these 'damaged' stocks were underweight, it shows further large-scale irregularities," says the police complaint

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