The University of Mumbai on Tuesday sent its deputy registrar (accounts) Rajendra Ambavade on seven days of ‘forced leave’ after a committee, set up to investigate the university’s deposits in the crisis-ridden Yes Bank, found him guilty of “misusing” his position. The ‘best employee award’ conferred on Ambavade earlier this year has also been withdrawn, sources said.
On March 13, MU finance and accounts officer Madhavi Ingole had informed the senate that the MU had a total of Rs 697 crore investment in nine banks. Of this, Rs 140 crore was invested in the private bank in the form of three fixed deposits — February 11 (Rs 45 crore), February 20 (Rs 59 crore) and February 29 (Rs 37 crore). The last deposit was made just days before the Reserve Bank of India on March 5 imposed a moratorium on withdrawals from the bank. Senate members had alleged “misappropriation” of funds and sought an immediate inquiry into the matter.
During a video-conference Tuesday, MU senate members demanded that an FIR should be registered against all the members concerned of the finance and accounts committee who were responsible for parking the money in the bank after the inquiry committee, formed under member Sanjay Shete in March, shared an interim report.
The report stated Ambavade had “over performed his duty and wilfully assumed, exercised powers which were not delegated to the post he is holding”. “Not only did he assume powers of finance and accounts officer, but also acted as an alternative to all competent authorities in making decisions about investments of university funds,” it stated.
The report stated that there has been a “gross violation” of the Maharashtra Universities Account Code, which states that even in absence of an investment committee, the finance and accounts officer was duty-bound to obtain pre-sanction of the vice chancellor. No such sanction was taken by the finance and accounts officer, it stated.
“This is clear dereliction of duty on the part of the finance and accounts officer,” the report said. The signature of the finance and account officer, it added, “has not been appended in the banks despite over seven months of her joining. The facts on record reveals that wilfully this situation was allowed by the finance and accounts officer. This caters to non-performance of duty hence worthy of charge of persistent and wilful negligence in performing duty”.
Based on its findings, the committee recommended that Ingole should be issued a show-cause notice and Ambavade suspended immediately with inquiry pending. It also suggested that an investment committee should be formed at the earliest.
The interim report also suggested that all fixed deposits should be made only in nationalised banks after inviting quotations from banks.
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