JNU researcher, 2 UGC staff held for embezzling grant | punjab | Hindustan Times
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JNU researcher, 2 UGC staff held for embezzling grant

When a post-graduate researcher in criminal law bends the law to turn a criminal himself, but is arrested, it appears the books haven't quite worked for him.

punjab Updated: Jun 23, 2013 23:39 IST
Vishal Rambani

When a post-graduate researcher in criminal law bends the law to turn a criminal himself, but is arrested, it appears the books haven't quite worked for him.


The Rajpura police on Sunday announced the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) research scholar Gaurav Trivedi -- son of former Madhya Pradesh IPS officer Harish Trivedi, who retired as inspector general of police -- and two employees of the University Grants Commission (UGC) for embezzlement of research grants using fake names and forged documents in the name of a college in Rajpura.

While Gaurav was caught on Friday, Talu Ram Bharti, assistant sanction officer, and Balwinder Singh, sanction officer, in the UGC's Delhi-headquartered finance and development branch, were both nabbed on Saturday from undisclosed locations in a case registered by Patel College on January 15 last, after the private college got a UGC letter asking for utilisation certificate for Rs 1.05-crore grant that the college had never received. The since-suspended principal of the college, Sanjeev Kalia, was found to be involved and remains at large, police said.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardial Singh Mann said on Sunday that initial investigation by SP Bhupinder Singh Khatra showed the accused had siphoned off several crores of UGC grants in the name of fictitious and ineligible colleges, though the SSP did not reveal any names. Last week the UGC also lodged an FIR in New Delhi in the matter, though there was no breakthrough there yet.

ANATOMY OF SCAM

Gaurav, a post-graduate in law enrolled for a PhD at JNU, had a good rapport with the two UGC staff, who allegedly lured him into the racket. In the Patel College case, the probe found that the grant was released indeed but was embezzled by the trio in league with the college principal, who forged the signatures of college management committee president Devki Nandan and opened an account to get the grant in the Union Bank of India (UBI), Patiala branch.

SSP Mann said that Patel College was not even eligible for the grant, but principal Kalia forged documents for that too and the UGC staffers, being posted in the finance branch, helped. After the release of the grant into the bank account opened on forged papers, the money was wired into an account of Gaurav, and the men divided the money.

The accused are in two-day police remand, and the cops hope to soon arrest the suspended principal too.