The Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday directed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Haryana Vigilance Bureau to complete its inquiry into the siphoning of funds for non-existent 4 lakhs students in the state within a period of two months. In case of failure to submit the report by March 16, Director of the Vigilance Bureau has been asked to remain present before the court.
The government, during the pendency of a plea in 2016, had revealed to the High Court that in March 2016, on verification of entire data in the state, it was found that against enrollment of 22 lakh students in government schools in different classes, there were only 18 lakh students. The benefits for the fake four lakh students continued to be disbursed.
The HC, in May 2016, asked the government to conduct a thorough inquiry. The probe was handed over to the Vigilance in April last year. During the resumed hearing of the case, the division bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Harinder Singh Sidhu expressed a strong dissatisfaction on the progress in the matter. “The bench has now recorded the statement of a an SP-rank officer that the investigation will be completed within two months. Director Vigilance has been asked to remain present in the court in case of the failure to do so,” advocate Jagbir Malik, one of the counsels in the case, said.
In August last year, the Vigilance Bureau had informed the High Court that the inquiry could not conducted as the relevant record was not handed over to it by the Education department.