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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Embezzlement confirmed, authorities fail to punish guilty

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Hoshiarpur, February 14, 2013
First Published: 18:15 IST(14/2/2013) | Last Updated: 18:23 IST(14/2/2013)

Serious financial and administrative irregularities have been detected in Dholbaha Co-operative Agriculture Service Society in a departmental inquiry, but no action has been taken against the accused. Shareholders of the society, Master Ramesh Chan, Jagroop Thakur, Karam Chand and others said that they were aware of the goings on for quite some time but the management did not provide them the information they needed to proceed against the wrongdoers.

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Even under the Right to Information Act, it took them more than a year to access the information after which they approached the higher authorities, they added. "On our complaint to the registrar (enforcement), co-operative societies, in April 2011, an inquiry was done by Hoshiarpur deputy registrar, who found the charges true and submitted the report to the registrar, but the department slept over the report,” they said. “When we sent a legal notice to the department, the management of the service society was first suspended and then removed, but our other concerns regarding financial embezzlements were not addressed,” they said.

"Information received under the RTI Act has revealed that most of the maximum credit limits (MCLs) of the committee members and employees were fake. Those with little land holdings were given huge loans. It was confirmed in the departmental inquiry,” said the complainants.

"The departmental inquiry also established that balance sheets were fudged and that a salesman had defrauded the society of Rs. 1.11 lakh but the sum was never realized from the defaulter,” they alleged. They said the management constructed a new building at a cost of Rs. 12.27 lakh without taking prior permission from the higher authorities and alleged that the actual cost of the building was much less.

Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP's) national council member Naveen Jairath, who has now taken the matter in his hands, said that it was unfortunate that the department had not made any effort to find out more than what was informed by the share-holders. "The rot must have run deep but the department has not tried to explore it. Nor has it taken any punitive action against the fraudsters,” he said. "It is rather shameful that a man (assistant registrar) who was involved in the wrongdoings and against whom the complainant had sought action, was asked to take action against the guilty. No wonder that except removing the managing committee, he did not recommend nor take any action to recover the losses,” Jairath said.

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