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HP High Court directs CBI to file charge sheet in SC,ST,OBC post matric scholarship scam

Vijyender Sharma | April 21, 2022 08:17 PM

SHIMLA: The High Court of Himachal Pradesh, in a matter pertaining to wrongful and illegal disbursement and misappropriation of Post- Matric Scholarship Scheme to SC, ST and OBC students, directed the CBI to expedite the process of completion of investigation and file the charge sheets at the earliest.

The Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sandeep Sharma, passed these orders on a writ petition filed by one Shyam Lal. The petitioner has alleged that Mr. Shakti Bhushan, State Project Officer (SPM NIU Shimla), who was appointed by the State to inquire into the matter of misappropriation of the financial scholarships under Centrally Sponsored Post Matric Scholarships Scheme for the students belonging to SC, ST and OBC, after conducting inquiry, lodged an FIR in the year 2018, under the directions of Secretary (Education), to the Govt. of H.P. The petitioner has further alleged that the inquiry report revealed that the huge sum of scholarship money was misappropriated. Apart from the educational institutions within the State, scores of educational institutions stationed in other States of India, were also involved in this scam. Consequently, the matter was handed over to the CBI for proper and thorough investigation by the State.

The petitioner has prayed to direct the State Government to handover complete investigation of all cases and errant institutions to CBI. The petitioner has further prayed to direct CBI to investigate all institutions named by Shakti Bhushan and thereafter to bring such investigations to the logical conclusion by filing criminal cases against all the errant institutions named in the list without any exception.

Earlier the High Court on 04.04.2022, took note of the submissions made by the Counsel for CBI that out of 266 private institutions, 28 were involved in the alleged scholarship scam. Investigation qua 11 of them has already been completed and charge sheets have been filed and the investigation against 17 institutions is still under progress. Taking note of the aforesaid submissions the Court expressed anguish that despite lapse of six months since the matter was last taken up, not even a single charge sheet has been filed.

The Counsel for CBI filed fresh status report in the Court, stating therein that seven accused have been arrested and two charge sheets have been filed on 18.04.2022, covering two Educational Institutions, namely, Apex Group of Professional Institutions, Indri, District Karnal, Haryana and Himalayan Group of Professional Institutions, Kala-Amb, District Sirmour, H.P, against the owners/employees of the aforesaid Institutions and officials of Directorate of Higher Education Shimla, for commission of offence under different sections of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act. The scope of the investigation has been kept open to unearth the role of bank officials. It has been further stated in the report that investigation in connection with the role of ITFT Education Group, Chandigarh, CBI has further progressed, inasmuch as 56 witnesses have been examined. Field investigation in respect of two more institutions namely, ITFT Education Group, Chandigarh & ICL Group of Colleges, Shahzadpur, District Ambala, Haryana, is almost complete and charge sheets in those cases shall be filed shortly. The matter has been fixed for 30.05.2022 to see further progress.

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