As many as nine personnel of an artillery regiment stationed in Tibri Military Station near Gurdaspur in Punjab are facing a court martial for having fraudulently diverted CSD canteen grocery stores worth nearly Rs. 90 lakh to open market by showing them to be damaged.
The nine personnel range from the rank of Sepoy to Naib Subedar. They were serving with a medium regiment of artillery and are now attached with a field regiment awaiting the court martial which has gotten delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Sources in the Army informed that the scam in the CSD canteen took place over the period of time between 2016 and 2018 when these personnel were associated with running the regiment’s unit canteen. All of them were holding positions ranging from non-commissioned officer in-charge of the canteen, billing clerk, computer operator, assistant billing clerk etc.
The modus operandi of these personnel accused of the crime was to interfere with the Canteen Inventory Management System and pass of grocery stocks worth lakhs of rupees as damaged goods which would be sold off in the open market.
For example, between April 1, 2016 to June 21, 2016 four of the accused are said to have transferred grocery stock worth Rs 11,17,395 into damaged goods list by making improper entries into the Canteen Inventory Management System Software.
The non-commissioned officer who was in charge of the canteen has been accused of negligence in checking the correctness of entries in the canteen account books with daily sales summary of the software.
Four personnel have been accused of having caused transfer of grocery stock worth Rs. 29,57,469 to damaged goods list between August 25, 2016 and December 29, 2016.
Similarly, three of them have been accused of transferring grocery stocks into damaged goods to the tune of Rs. 45,64,280 between the period April 1, 2017 to January 20, 2018. One of the jawans was also found to have been in possession of Rs. 3,61,000 from “unauthorised sources”.
It is also learnt that the accused personnel had submitted a representation to higher headquarters of the Army questioning why only they were facing disciplinary action for the alleged irregularities by them and no officer of the regiment had been indicted for similar action.
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