-BDPO, patwari, three panchayat secretaries and three clerks are among 10 booked.
-The amount was provided by the Finance Commission of India for the 2011 census programme.
-All accused are reportedly absconding.
The Batala police have booked a BDPO, one panchayat patwari, three panchayat secretaries, three clerks and two others on the charge of embezzlement of Rs 1.44 crore in the rural development grant in the BDPO office in Batala on Friday.Additional Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur (Development) Jagwinderjit Singh Sandhu had lodged a complaint with the Senior Superintendent of Police, Batala, recently.
The city police conducted a thorough probe into the complaint and found the then officiating BDPO Malkiat Singh, block samit patwari Inderjit Singh, three panchayat secretaries Sandeep Singh, Jaspal Singh and Azad Masih, three clerks Gurpinder Singh, Amarjit Singh and Tejinder Singh and two owners of a private firm guilty.
A case under Sections 409, 406 and 120-B, IPC, and the Corruption Act has been registered at the city police station. All accused are reportedly absconding.It is leant that a scam involving Rs 1.44 crore has come to light in the Block Development and Panchayat Office, Batala. The amount was provided by the Finance Commission of India for the 2011 census programme.
The scam was detected by a committee of revenue officials headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Jagwinderjit Singh Sandhu. The probe was instituted by Deputy Commissioner Amit Kumar following a number of complaints received by the administration during the regime of the previous government .
The preliminary probe found involvement of Malkiat Singh, an accountant, who assumee the charge of BDPO, Inderjti Singh, block samiti patwari, Jaspal Singh Bhullar, panchayat secretary, Azad Masih, panchayat secretary, Rupinder Kaur, block samiti clerk, and Sandeep Singh, Amarjit Singh, Tejinder Singh and Devinder Singh (non-employees).ADC Sandhu said the amount was allocated to the BDPO office by the Finance Commission for further allocattion for rural development purposes. Sandhu said accused Malkiat Singh used to issue bearer cheques in his name and in the names of employees, private persons and private firms and pocket the amount.
The ADC (Development) said the inquiry committee has found a number of gross violations in the BDPO office record. Probe officials were of the view that Malkiat Singh was the main accused because as he withdrew Rs 74,23,823 directly as he had not entered the amount in the cash book, whereas block samiti patwari InderJit Singh withdrew Rs 54,29,935. The grants issued to different panchayats had not been entered in any cash books.According to the details, Sandeep Singh pocketed Rs 2,19,000, Jaspal Singh Bhullar Rs 3,00,000, Gurpinder Kaur Rs 1,00,000, Amarjit Singh Rs 59,456, Tejinder Singh Rs 44,000, Azad Masih Rs 2,12,000, Guru Nanak Trading Company Rs 2,90,000 and Davinder project misappropriated Rs 4,00,000.
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