Police have arrested Amit Kumar, a social justice and empowerment department official, in the multi-crore old-age pension scam. Kumar is alleged to be instrumental in preparing fake records for underage individuals and make them eligible for pensions in Karnal.
Former district social welfare officer Baljeet Singh Grewal (retired in March last year) was arrested in the case in February this year.
In a police complaint filed by the director general of social justice and empowerment department, 11 people were named.
On November 8, HT had reported the administration’s findings wherein nearly 29,000 beneficiaries out of 43,000 for the old-age pension enrolled since 2012 were found ineligible.
The irregularities in the list of beneficiaries, which have financial implications probably to the tune of `4.5 crore as stated by chief minister ML Khattar in the assembly, were committed during the previous Congress regime. An internal audit conducted by the social justice and empowerment department had ascertained the anomalies.
A preliminary inquiry conducted by the Karnal administration had recommended an in-depth investigation to fix responsibility and recover money. In the meantime, the social justice and empowerment department also received complaints of large-scale irregularities in the enrolment of beneficiaries and an internal probe was ordered to detect the alleged scam.
Additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Girish Arora had submitted findings of the preliminary inquiry to the state government before May 2014, categorically stating misappropriation of public money by corrupt officials.
On the basis of complaints, then Karnal DC Balraj Singh had marked an inquiry to the ADC. In his report, Arora stated it was a clear case where officials of social justice department had been involved in enlisting ineligible persons since 2012.
A case was registered under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (forged document as genuine) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy.