Salman Khurshid trust: In 10 out of 17 UP districts,officials reported ‘forgeries’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/salman-khurshid-trust-in-10-out-of-17-up-districts-officials-reported-forgeries/

Salman Khurshid trust: In 10 out of 17 UP districts,officials reported ‘forgeries’

‘Irregularities’ in Mainpuri,Shahjahanpur,Etawah,Kannauj,Allahabad and Farrukhabad

Officials in as many as 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh have raised questions about the genuineness of the reports on the checks done on works carried out by Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust,run by union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid,for welfare of the disabled in 2009-2010. The trust had submitted these reports to the union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment at the time of seeking grants for 2010-11.

In their reports to the Handicapped Welfare Department,district officials have alleged that the signatures of officials on the reports are fake and that these also carry allegedly fake stamps. In some cases,the “test check reports” carry signatures of officers who do not even exist,officials have reported.

These reports form the basis of the investigation by the Economic Offences Wing of the police ordered by the state government.

The trust claims to have conducted works in 17 districts. Officials from 13 districts are reported to have alleged irregularities. The Indian Express has reports regarding 10 of those districts.

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A verification of the test check reports was ordered during the previous BSP government after the union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment wrote to the state,saying the trust had submitted these directly to the ministry. Under the rules,the trust was supposed to submit the reports through the state government.

The trust had received grants of Rs 71.5 lakh for 17 districts under the ‘Assistance to Disabled Persons (AIDP)’ scheme of the Government of India in 2009-10 for purchase and fitting of aids and appliances for disabled persons.

Under the rules,a proposal for release of funds for the next year is considered by the ministry on the recommendation of the state government after sample checking of 5 to10 per cent of the beneficiaries covered in the previous year.

“The above organisation has furnished the test check reports signed by tehsildar/ BDO/ chief medical officer/ district disabled welfare officer of the concerned districts directly to the ministry for sanction of grant during 2010-2011. It is,therefore,requested that the above test check reports may please be confirmed from concerned authorities,” said the communication from the ministry on May 19,2011.

Repeated attempts to contact Louise Khurshid,the project director of the trust,received no response. At a press conference on Sunday,both Khurshid and Louise had denied that the signatures were forgeries and claimed that all the camps mentioned in the test check reports had been conducted. Louise also said she had herself approached the Akhilesh Yadav government for a probe on allegations of forgery.

This is what the district officials said after verifying the test check reports:

MAINPURI: In a letter dated July 6,2011,district handicapped welfare officer Tapasvi Lal informed the director of handicapped welfare,Uttar Pradesh government,that “in the attached check list made available by you,the signatures of undersigned and the block development officer,Bevar,are forged”.

SHAHJAHANPUR: In a letter dated July 7,2011,the district handicapped welfare officer informed the director of handicapped welfare that the test check reports submitted by the trust had been signed by the block development officer,Sadar,and the chief medical officer. “Verification of signature of the block development officer,Sadar,cannot be done because there is no such post in this district,” the district handicapped welfare officer informed.

Further,Chief Medical Officer J L Gautam informed through the chief development officer that neither was the signature on the test reports that of then chief medical officer,nor did his office have any record of a camp organised on March 15,2010,as mentioned in the test reports.

“The signature on the test check list is not of the then chief medical officer and there is no information available with this office regarding the camp,” wrote Gautam to the CDO on July 7,2011.

ETAWAH: The chief medical officer of Etawah,in a letter dated July 13,2011,informed the district handicapped welfare officer of Etawah that the signature on the certified copy of the test check list of beneficiaries does not seem to be that of the then chief medical officer.

KANNAUJ: The district handicapped welfare officer,in a letter dated July 21,2011,addressed to the director,handicapped welfare,informed that the signature on the test reports was not of the then district handicapped welfare officer,nor was the stamp on the test reports of his office. He also informed that the tehsildar,Sadar,had told him that the signature on the test reports was not his and even the stamp of the tehsildar office was allegedly fake.

“In the attached check list,the signature and stamp used are not of the then district handicapped officer. Even the tehsildar,Sadar,has informed that the signature and stamp used on the list of beneficiaries is fake,” wrote the district handicapped welfare officer.

ALLAHABAD: The district handicapped welfare officer asked Amit Kumar Singh,who was the handicapped welfare officer at the time the camp was held in the city on June 5,2010,to verify his signature. In his letter to the district handicapped welfare officer,Amit Kumar Singh wrote on July 20,2011,“The signature on the certified check list of Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust is not of the undersigned. The undersigned and district handicapped welfare office,Allahabad,do not have any information about the camp organised on June 5,2010.”

In a letter dated July 30,2011,the tehsildar,Sadar,also informed the district handicapped welfare officer that during verification,it was found “neither the signature on the certified copy is of the then tehsildar,nor the stamp is of this office.”

FARRUKHABAD: In a letter dated August 11,2011,district handicapped welfare officer Ram Anurag Verma informed the director of handicapped welfare that during verification of the check list of beneficiaries of the camp organised on May 29,2010,“Mohan Singh,then tehsildar of Kayamganj,informed that signature on the check list is not his”.

As for the signature of the then chief medical officer,Verma wrote,“present chief medical officer Kamlesh Kumar has confirmed that,as per the office records,the signature on the test check list is not of P K Porwal (who was chief medical officer when the check list was supposedly certified)”. Verma also wrote,“It could not be confirmed that information regarding holding of camp on May 29,2010,was sent to either the district magistrate or the handicapped welfare department.”

BULANDSHAHR: District handicapped welfare officer Rashmi informed the director of handicapped welfare in a letter dated August 17,2011, that “the signature of the district handicapped welfare officer on the list is fake,and even the stamp used does not belong to this office”. Further,as per the information made available by the chief medical officer of the district,“There is no medical unit designated as medical superintendent,Primary Health Centre,Bulandshahr”.

KANSHIRAM NAGAR: District handicapped welfare officer Priyanka Awasthi was asked to verify the signatures of the block development officer,Patiyali,and chief medical officer of Kanshiram Nagar shown on the check list of the Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust. After checking from the concerned officers,in a letter on August 30,2011,Awasthi informed the director of handicapped welfare,“The signatures of the chief medical officer and block development officer on the list are not theirs.”

ETAH: District handicapped welfare officer Priyanka Awasthi,in a letter on September 17,2011,to the director of handicapped welfare,wrote that “present chief medical officer R C Pandey has informed that the signature of then chief medical officer A K Singh on the list of beneficiaries for the camp organised by Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust in tehsil Aliganj do not match with his signatures on office records. They seem fake”.

She further wrote that in 2010,Raj Kumar Singh was in charge tehsildar and the signature on the check list does not allegedly match his signature.

SANT RAVIDAS NAGAR (Bhadohi): District handicapped welfare officer N B Singh informed the director of handicapped welfare,through a letter dated October 1,2011,that the records show that a camp was organised on March 23,2011,which is the same date when the signature of chief development officer P P Tripathi is shown on the check list. But the trust claims that the camp was held on April 17,2010.

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“There are no signatures of the chief development officer on the date of the camp April 17,2010. The check list is wrongly showing date of April for organising the camp,which is suspicious,” wrote N B Singh,the district handicapped welfare officer.