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Two officials suspended in multicrore scholarship scam

Action taken against them for gross negligence, hobnobbing with scamsters, says minister Dharamsot; FIR filed against educational institutes

punjab Updated: Nov 03, 2017 09:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
multicrore scholarship scam,Punjab multicrore scholarship scam,Punjab
Punjab SC, BC and minority welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.(HT File)

The Punjab government has suspended two departmental officials for serious irregularities in the post- matric scholarship scheme in the state.

Punjab scheduled castes, backward classes and minority welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said the two officers were placed under suspension for gross negligence of duty and hobnobbing with scamsters after a special audit of the scheme blew the lid off the multi-crore largescale scholarship scam by various educational institutions.

“Under the scheme for Other Backward Classes, Universal College, Derabassi, claimed Rs 1.18 crore from the welfare department in the name of 311 students which was thoroughly probed by the department resulting in the college returning the amount,” he told reporters at a press conference, sharing findings of the special audit.

The minister said that during the court of the probe, a teshil welfare officer and senior assistant were suspended and chargesheeted for indulging in gross negligence of duty.

Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had on June 16, 2017 ordered the audit of all the educational institutions of the state with regard to the scheme from 2011-12 to 2016-17. This special audit would be completed in all respects by December 31, 2017, he said.

Dharamsot also said that Devraj Group of Colleges from Ferozepur also tried to defraud the department of Rs 4.40 crore by showing bogus students.

“The institution had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court regarding pendency of Rs 4.40 crore with the welfare department. When the special audit was conducted, the claim was found to be fraudulent,” he said. The minister has ordered registration of FIRs against both the institutions.

As per the CM’s orders, the finance department has conducted the audit of 249 institutions under the post-matric scholarship scheme for SC leading to a claim of Rs 53.76 crore against several of these institutions by the audit parties.

The minister said the department had also decided to conduct audit of the amount released under the Aashirwad scheme (shagan scheme) during the previous five years.

Under the scheme, the practice of making payment to beneficiaries through cheques would be discontinued and the money would be directly transferred into their bank accounts through the online banking management system instead.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 09:24 IST