Patiala, April 21
A probe conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala, into the UGC scholarship has led to unearthing of misappropriation of Rs 11 crore funds.
The university has found 16 employees directly involved in the scam, 10 of whom have been suspended, while services of six employees have already been terminated.
Funds worth over Rs 1 crore were transferred into at least two bank accounts and withdrawn at a later stage. Officials said the investigation was still on. The scam had surfaced during an internal audit last year
The police after receiving a complaint by the university authorities started a separate probe revealing ‘benami’ properties and other purchases by the accused. Later, four individuals, including the university staffers were arrested.
The authorities informed that funds were transferred into accounts of 107 individuals and 40 persons have been identified so far.
“Earlier, we were investigating the university accounts from 2018 to 2021. Now, we have widened the scope and are looking into records from 2013 onwards,” said the university’s spokesperson.
Those suspended include Nishu Chaudhary, senior assistants Parminder Singh, Dalip Kumar, Gurmukh Singh, technical assistant Bhupinder Singh, system analyst Harpreet Singh, clerk Narinder Singh, peons Kunal and Honey, junior technical assistant Ramesh and junior assistant Parminder Kumar.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Arvind said, “We will not tolerate corruption at any cost. The entire case is being investigated step by step. Truth will come to the fore as investigation progresses.”
Fake bills generated
The scam had surfaced during an internal audit last year. The audit team had found fake bills generated in names of former research scholars.
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