Former school teacher with assets worth Rs 6.5 cr booked in DA case
A former government school teacher in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district has been booked for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during his 14 years of his service, anti-corruption and vigilance department officials said on Thursday.
Subrat Kumar Choudhury worked as an assistant teacher at the Mundagada Project Upper Primary School between 2005 and 2019; he took voluntary retirement last month.
A team of around a dozen ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) personnel, led by Satyaban Mahanada, deputy superintendent of police (Vigilance), raided his house and found assets to the tune of Rs 6.5 crore.
Mahanada said Choudhury could have made the money by defrauding the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)—the central government’s skill development programme. From the preliminary investigations, vigilance officials found that teacher had gamed the scheme to show that as a service provider, he trained certain number of people without having done it actually. They are also looking into allegations that he ripped off people promising them jobs.
“Though he worked as a school teacher and earned around Rs 25,000 as salary per month, he seems to have fudged documents to make money out of PMKVY as a service provider,” said Mahananda. The vigilance department said Choudhury owns two multi-storey buildings, 23 patches of land, two cars, and some gold jewellery. Most of the properties were in the name of his wife Bharati Choudhury.
Both Choudhury and his wife have been booked under section 13(1)(b) of Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, the officials said, adding the couple will be arrested soon. “The total assets may go up further as we are trying to find out the details of an agreement that he reportedly executed for constructing a petrol pump in Nabarangpur. This could be the highest amount of disproportionate asset that we have seized from a government official in the undivided Koraput district,” Mahananda added.
Nabarangpur is one of the 50 most backward districts in the country, according to a 2015 study by US-India Policy Institute and the New Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy. The vigilance team conducted the raid based on a tip-off from locals, another official said on condition of anonymity . “When we raided him, he said most of his assets were inherited from his father, a retired school headmaster. But he could not show anything to prove that the immovable assets were inherited from his father.”
Rejecting the allegations of disproportionate assets, Choudhury said, “Truth will be out once the case goes to court.”