PU pension cell scam: Police accuse varsity of non-cooperation in probe | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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PU pension cell scam: Police accuse varsity of non-cooperation in probe

The police have accused the Panjab University authorities of delaying the investigations by not co-operating fully with them in the pension cell fraud case.

punjab Updated: Sep 25, 2015 23:02 IST
Nikhil Sharma
According to the police, specimen signatures of accused Pooja Bagga from the varsity records are required but the same could not be obtained as the university authorities have still not provided them the main records.
According to the police, specimen signatures of accused Pooja Bagga from the varsity records are required but the same could not be obtained as the university authorities have still not provided them the main records.

The police have accused the Panjab University authorities of delaying the investigations by not co-operating fully with them in the pension cell fraud case.

Submitting the disclosure report in the court on Friday, the police said that important documents sought from Panjab University and concerned bank have still not been supplied to them by the varsity.

The police submitted, “There are some documents, text books, cheques, cash books, vouchers, etc, which carry the handwritings of varsity officials other than main accused Pooja Bagga. The officials of the university and concerned bank are required to be questioned in front of Bagga to crack the nexus.”

According to the police, specimen signatures of accused Pooja Bagga from the varsity records are required but the same could not be obtained as the university authorities have still not provided them the main records.

Police officials told the court that varsity officials had cited that the records sought by the police were there in the file handed over to the cops with regard to internal investigations carried out by the varsity.

The police have also slammed the bank that the varsity dealt with, saying the information provided to them was not complete and there was need for in-depth investigations and questioning of bank officials to establish involvement of officials, if any.

The court on Friday extended the police remand of Pooja Bagga by three days on police’s request, which had sought her seven-day remand, saying she was changing her statements. Bagga’s husband and her brother-in-law, however, have been sent to judicial.

The court directed the police to present her in the court on September 28.

“The accused had stated that her associates were in Kandaghat, Himachal Pradesh, and the tower locations established what she was saying. However, when the said place was raided, the target had moved. Now, the accused has disclosed that her accomplices, who were in possession of the misappropriated money and fabricated vouchers, were in Delhi and Ghaziabad,” said the police.

The cops sought the remand on the plea that forged vouchers and other documents were yet to be recovered.

Advocate Ajay Sood, representing PU, said that since the possibility of increase in quantum of fraud during scrutiny of record cannot be ruled out, the police need to dig deeper to expose the nexus between the main accused and other officials, if any.

While the FIR mentions the quantum of the fraud at Rs 1.63 crore, the PU status report pegged it at more than Rs 2 crore.

Hinting at the involvement of other PU officials, Bagga in her bail application accused Naresh Sabharwal, who is serving as a superintendent in the pension cell, of enticing her to do the wrongs. She termed him as the “mastermind” of the scam.

As per the Panjab University authorities, Bagga re-used the old vouchers after the beneficiaries were paid. Officials claimed that Bagga siphoned off the money by depositing cheques in her and relatives’ accounts.

What PU says about misappropriation by Bagga

Year Amount

2015-16 : Rs 91.5 lakh

2014-15 : Rs 71.74 lakh

2013-14 : Rs 45.5 lakh

Total - 2.08 crore

Money lying in accounts of beneficiaries -

Pooja Bagga - Rs 14,78,657

Sampuran Singh (Father) - Rs 35,82,434

Ravi Kumar (brother-in-law, sister’s husband) - Rs 19,82,803

Jatinder Singh (husband) - Rs 39,33,132

Paramjit Kaur (sister-in-law) - Rs 22,18,295

Baljinder (Jatinder’s younger brother) - Rs 13,81,747

Sarita (mother) - Rs 23,86,637

Total - 1,69,63,705