No action against UT dept officials for Rs 1 crore payment to bogus firm | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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No action against UT dept officials for Rs 1 crore payment to bogus firm

Three months after the Panchkula police registered a first-information report (FIR) against the owner of a firm, Air Cooling, for having received Rs 1 crore fraudulently in the company’s account from the UT administration, the five officials who allegedly connived in making the payment are yet to face any action.

punjab Updated: Apr 11, 2017 12:21 IST
Hillary Victor 
(HT Representative Image)

Three months after the Panchkula police registered a first-information report (FIR) against the owner of a firm, Air Cooling, for having received Rs 1 crore fraudulently in the company’s account from the UT administration, the five officials who allegedly connived in making the payment are yet to face any action.

The officials are all posted in Public Health Division Number 7 and payments were made for works done from 2011-13.

DIDN’T VERIFY FIRM’S CREDENTIALS

Source said officials made payment to a bogus firm that an employee of the original firm had floated to defraud the department.

The catch was that the accused Varinder Pathak floated a company by the same name, Air Cooling, but furnished a new account to the department for making payments.

Read more | CBI files case against Chandigarh-based company for cheating PNB for Rs 1,300 crore

The original Air Cooling is owned by Soni Parihar of Panchkula and Pathak was an employee with her.

The first information report (FIR) states that Pathak, floated a ‘bogus’ firm with same name, but a different account number and even got the address of the company changed in the records of the department. However, officials failed to verify these facts with the original owner, Parihar, and made the payments.

LITTLE ACTION FROM DEPARTMENT

Now, even as the police are recording the statements of officers of the public health division number 7, the department is yet to act.

“This kind of payment (to a bogus company) is not possible without connivance of officials. It is strange that senior officers let this pass,” said a senior official from the department.

Real owner of the original firm Soni Parihar said, “We have given several representations to the engineering department to make our payments, but we are only getting assurances. How did they change our address and account number without our consent.”

When contacted, superintending engineer RS Ahluwalia said, “I am aware of the issue and an inquiry is on into the matter.” Sources said Ahluwalia has sought a report from the executive engineer RS Bedi on the issue.