VB arrests sarpanch for embezzlement of ₹ 12.24 crore panchayat funds
During the investigation by the VB, it came to light that sarpanch Kaur initiated development works by using the above mentioned panchayat funds in the village
The vigilance bureau on Tuesday arrested sarpanch Harjit Kaur of Aakari village in Patiala district for embezzlement of panchayat funds amounting to ₹ 12.24 crore in the name of development works.
A VB spokesperson said the bureau had already registered an FIR under section 406, 420, 409, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC and section 13(1) read with 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act at VB police station, Patiala to investigate misappropriation of panchayats funds by various accused.
The spokesperson said that the PUDA authority of Punjab government had acquired shamlat land measuring 1,104 acres belonging to 5 different villages for construction of Amritsar-Kolkata integrated corridor.
In this regard, a total amount of about ₹ 285 crores was given to 5 villages- Pabra, Takhtu Majra, Sehra, Sehri and Akari in Shambu Block of the district. Out of this total amount, about ₹ 51 crore were received by gram panchayat Akari for their acquired land measuring 183 acres 12 marla, he added.
During the investigation by the VB, it came to light that Kaur initiated development works by using the above mentioned funds in the village. But during inspection by Bureau officials, it was found that Kaur had misappropriated a large amount of funds by passing fake resolutions of gram panchayat for fake construction of village pond, community centre, cremation grave yard, panchayat ghar and burms of a drain. To prove the works as genuine, she released payments through cheques to the different firms for these works, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson revealed that apart from the VB probe, another enquiry regarding these development works by using panchayat funds was completed by additional chief secretary-cum financial commissioner rural development & panchayats, SAS Nagar. The department probe has found that embezzlement amounting to ₹ 12.24 crores was committed in the development works by sarpanch Kaur.