Ghaziabad: FIRs against beneficiaries of mass wedding scheme who defrauded govt
Under the scheme, meant for the marriage of daughters of registered labourers, each beneficiary received ₹75,000 and the government covered the costs of the event
The Uttar Pradesh labour department has discovered that several beneficiaries of a mass wedding event last year for underprivileged families under a state government scheme were already married and submitted forged documents to claim the compensation amount provided.
After unsuccessfully attempting to recover the funds from these beneficiaries through notices and recovery, the department has filed FIRs against the individuals involved, labour officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The incident occurred in November 2022, when a mass wedding ceremony was organised at the Kamla Nehru Nagar ground, where a total of 3,003 couples from underprivileged backgrounds tied the knot in an event attended by then labour minister Anil Rajbhar and Ghaziabad MP General VK Singh (retired).
Under the scheme, which was intended for the marriage of daughters of registered labourers with the labour department, each beneficiary received ₹75,000 and the government covered the costs of the event.
According to labour officials, the incident came to light when they discovered that out of the 3,003 registered couples, 92 beneficiaries were yet to receive their compensation due to incomplete account information. It was then that the labour department started conducting random checks of the documents submitted by the beneficiaries, and discovered that many documents were forged, said officials aware of the matter.
“During random checks, we discovered that some brides had already been married before the event on November 24, 2022, as their Aadhaar cards displayed their husbands’ names. It became evident that the suspects applied maliciously and concealed crucial information,” said Ravi Srivastava, the deputy labour commissioner.
According to officials, registered labourers had to provide supporting documents and affidavits declaring their daughters’ unmarried status and financial need for assistance. Consequently, labour officials filed the FIRs against both the parents and their daughters involved in these fraudulent cases.
“The six FIRs filed thus far name the parents and their daughters. We suspect that there are more cases like this. When the problems were discovered, we served them with notices to return the beneficiary amount of ₹75,000 per marriage, and recovery notices were issued when there was no response,” Srivastava said.
Six FIRs were lodged at the Sihani Gate police station on May 20 against 12 people under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), and 467/468 (forgery).
“We filed FIRs based on complaints received from the department. So far, no arrests have been made, and we are conducting an investigation based on documents submitted by the suspects,” said Ravi Kumar Singh, assistant commissioner of police (Nandgram).