Scholarship scam Rs 45.31 cr now

With more arrests in connection with the post-matric scholarship scam, the quantum of fraud has reached Rs 45.31 crore. A special investigation team (SIT) has completed its inquiry in 10 of the 22 districts for scholarship disbursal in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Four FIRs have been registered in Panchkula, Rohtak and Hisar divisions of the Vigilance Bureau. Two FIRs have been registered in Panchkula, where the quantum of scam is Rs 89.61 lakh. In Rohtak and Hisar FIRs, the fraud is worth Rs 23.06 crore and Rs 21.35 crore, respectively. “The quantum of scam will rise as investigation is going on in 12 districts. We are interrogating officials of the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. The sanctioning authority will be questioned if its role comes under the scanner,” said SP Manbir Singh, heading the SIT. He interacted with mediapersons about the outcome of investigation so far.

In reply to a question on the involvement of politicians in the scam, he said investigation was going on. The Vigilance had arrested five persons, including two women, so far.

Rajinder Singh Sangwan, then Deputy Director, Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, and clerk Surender Kumar, District Welfare Office in Sonepat, were on bail at present.

The Vigilance Bureau arrested Rahul Chaudhary of Rohtak and Gurdev Kaur and her daughter Ritik Singh of Yamunanagar on Thursday. They were on police remand for two days.

Gurdev Kaur had been running an NGO in Yamunanagar. She along with Mayank Chaudhary of Ghaziabad and Rahul Chaudhary of Rohtak got 41 Scheduled Caste women students from Yamunanagar admitted in OPJS University at Churu in Rajasthan. The accounts of students were opened in various banks. The accused used to keep the students’ ATM cards, chequebooks and passbooks with them.

The Vigilance Bureau had registered a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against then OPJS University Chairman JS Dalal and Registrar Jitendra Yadav as well. “Some accused are absconding and a number of arrests pending,” said the SIT chief. In most cases, officials engaged in the process used to change the Aadhaar numbers and amount payable to students while sending the list to banks. PTI

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