Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 27
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started a probe into the alleged multi-crore scam in the disbursal of funds under the SC Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme.
A high-level team under the Chief Secretary had given a clean chit to Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, attracting protest from Opposition parties.
Acting on a complaint of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Chandigarh office of CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) today asked the Principal Secretary (Social Justice), for a complete record of the probe report submitted on August 24, 2020, to the Chief Secretary by then Additional Chief Secretary Kirpa Shankar Saroj.
Sources in the CBI confirmed that the preliminary inquiry had been marked in the case. It has sought certified copies of the documents pertaining to the funds received by the state under the central scheme. Besides, copies of the documents related to disbursal of funds by the state government to the educational institutions, where the SC students were enrolled. Copies of the end-use report submitted by the state to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have also been sought.
The scam surfaced after Saroj in his report had questioned the role of Dharamsot in “shielding” those involved in the case. After a second probe by the Chief Secretary-led team gave a clean chit to the minister, the ACS was shunted out of the department.
ACS Report that created furore
- Then Additional Chief Secretary (Social Justice) Kirpa Shankar Saroj in his report alleged a scam amounting to Rs55.71 crore in disbursal of SC scholarship. It was revealed that Rs39 crore was disbursed to “ghost” institutes as the records were missing
- Rs16.71 crore was wrongly disbursed to private institutes despite the Finance Department pointing out Rs8 crore illegally given to them. The report alleged a Deputy Director, who had a minister’s patronage, in connivance with other officials disbursed funds illegally
Panel found Nothing against minister
- The findings of a panel headed by the Chief Secretary, however, found nothing substantial in the allegation of interference by Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the disbursal of SC scholarship funds
- The panel also found the trail of Rs39 crore and concluded that it did not go in ghost accounts. However, it did find the wrong payment of over Rs7 crore to private educational institutes
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