UGC grant: Punjabi University staffer among 7 booked for fund embezzlement

Probe begins, raids on to nab accused

UGC grant: Punjabi University staffer among 7 booked for fund embezzlement

Ravneet Singh

Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 2

The Patiala police have registered a case against seven persons, including an employee of Punjabi University, in a case of embezzlement of university funds of the UGC grant.

The university had recently dismissed one contractual employee and suspended two others for their alleged involvement in the case and sought registration of a case. It had found the three employees guilty of fraud, forging signatures and embezzlement.

Those named in the FIR are senior assistant Nishu Chaudhary, ex-peon Jatinder Singh and Akashdeep Singh, Sonu Kumar, Harpreet Singh, Vinay and Nisha Sharma. Police officials said they have started an investigation into the case and as such, roles of all accused would be ascertained.

SHO Ronnie Singh said: “We have visited the houses of the accused but they were missing. Attempts to nab them are on.”

The university, in its letter to the police, had recently stated that it came across forged bills generated by Nishu Chaudhary and Jatinder Singh. The bills were generated in the names of a number of former students and others, which were passed by a superintendent at the university.

As per the opinion of a handwriting expert, Dr Inderjit Singh, whose services the university used, the signatures of the head of department on the bills were also forged. It said it found similar fake bills had been generated and passed in the recent past and checks for lakhs of rupees were issued.

During the inquiry, the police found that the accused named in the FIR cheated the university.

One of the accused, Vinay Kumar, a gym trainer who trained Nishu Chaudhary, in his statement to the police said the latter deposited checks amounting to Rs 7 lakh in his bank account, stating that those were payments for his apple orchards. The police have not found any proof of involvement of the superintendent, who was suspended by the university. She has not been made part of the case as of now. The other accused have not submitted their statements with the police.

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