A scam of more than Rs 72 lakh was unearthed in Government Girls Senior Secondary School at Shankar village here in October last year in an education department inquiry but a first information report (FIR) is yet to be registered in the case.
A clerk appointed illegally by the education department in the school was involved in the embezzlement, drawing salaries of teachers no longer on rolls, from 2011 to 2015.
The committee, comprising education department officials, that inquired into the scam sent its report to Punjab education secretary in December last year.
As per information from sources in the education department, the scam was going on for a long period of four years but the education department remained ‘unaware’.
Oddly enough, neither has an FIR been registered in the case nor has any action been taken against the erring officials.
Even the records from 2011 to 2012 have also been deliberately misplaced and the inquiry report suggests that there is more to it than meets the eye and the fraud could turn out to be even bigger.
Clerk Jatinder Kumar was appointed in the school in gross violation of norms despite the fact that a government designated clerk was already working there.
According to the inquiry report, Jatinder Kumar was transferring the salaries of teachers to his private bank account. In a twist, Kumar in alleged connivance with officials of Nakodar treasury office, was drawing salaries of those teachers who had already left the school but were being shown as working on the rolls.
According to rules, no person other than a specially designated government clerk can be given username and password for uploading salary bills of employees online.
Oddly, the regular clerk was not given username and password.
There might be other schools where a similar fraud could come to light as Kumar was working in other schools as well.
Education minister Daljeet Singh Cheema said, “I have directed the district education officer to take prompt action and inquire in a free and fair manner.”