In a significant development, Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s Public Accounts Committee has recommended a CBI probe into the multi-crore scam in the scholarships meant for Dalit students.
An IAS officer Sanjeev Verma, who had unearthed the scam and also wanted a CBI probe into the matter, was recently transferred from the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Department.
A letter to the state Chief Secretary, accessed by The Indian Express, said: “The committee has desired that the matter may be entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for thorough inquiry into the matter”.
The committee had held a meeting with Principal Secretary of Haryana Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Department, Neerja Sekhar, on May 21 regarding a report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), which had also pointed suspected fraudulent payment of scholarships.
The committee, in its letter sent to the Chief Secretary on June 14, has mentioned that the recommendations for the CBI probe has been made during “the oral examination” of the Principal Secretary into the matter.
“The reported cases are only the test check cases in district Jhajjar. Any comprehensive/through inquiry, if got conducted, it may reveal number of serious lapses in other districts also.” The matter relates to the irregularities in the payment for Post Matric Scholarships (PMS) under the centrally sponsored scheme to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) students across the state during 2012 to 2018.
According to the committee, the probe should inquire the circumstances which resulted into payment of scholarship without verification of required documents and details of beneficiary students. The committee also wants to know whether there was any collusion among the officers and officials of various participating departments concerned, banking institutions and selected institutions. As Director of Welfare of SCs and BCs department, Sanjeev Verma had succeeded in getting an FIR lodged against some officers posted in the department’s Chandigarh headquarters in connection with the scam worth Rs 3.53 crore in May this year. He had recommended another FIR in connection with the scam worth Rs 14.93 crore but the case is yet to be registered.