बुधवार, 5 अक्तूबर 2016

Loot of Rs. 50 crores through Illegal transfer of money of Students’ scholarship to fake beneficiaries in Odisha

Loot of Rs. 50 crores  through Illegal transfer  of money  of Students’ scholarship to the account of fake beneficiaries by  committing fraud  and forgery  by Banks  operating in Odisha in connivance with a coterie of State Govt. officials, Odisha Knowledge  Corporation Limited   and their agents

 Dear  friends

  it is the routine affair of  the Govt. of Odisha  to release   advertisement  every year  inviting on-line application  from the students  of  +2, +3 students of different  colleges, Post-graduate students of Universities  and students of professional  and technical educational institutions to apply for students scholarship. As per the information obtained through RTI,  since 2010, the State Govt.  has engaged  three private  companies like  Odisha Knowledge Corporation Limited, CSM Technology, TQM service for verifying and processing the application of the students to get scholarship.  These agencies prepare the list of deserving students and send it to the Govt. for release of money directly to their account through on-line Banking transfer system.

But since last five years from 2010-15, many fake and undeserving students are being sanctioned students’ scholarships through forgery   and fraudulent means by these private companies by preparing false documents through their agents engaged across the state in association with corrupt bank officers. This is a racket operating in Odisha to swindle away Scholarship money through Banks and corrupt officials of Higher Education Department.  This issue came to limelight when an amount of Rs. 20,000.00 was released each to the account of three +3 students of Raghunath College , Deuli  and P.N. College, Bolagada of Khurda district and withdrawn on same day within 15 minutes of  the deposit of the money on 15.1.15.

How it was exposed ?

As per the complaint filed by these three students namely Surya Prasad Sahu of P.N. College, Bolagada, Sagar Kumar Debta and Manas Kumar Singh of Raghunath College, Deuli   to  the Chief Minister and  Chief Secretary,  Govt. of Odisha and FIR lodged on 11.4.15, one day,  an agent named Bibhuti Bhusan Lenka  of Khurda district  close to these students came to their house and told them to ensure availability  of scholarship,  if they will provide  their documents, Bank Account no. opened  in Punjab National Bank, Talatumba Branch. They got delighted and handed over all the documents. After few days, the agent came again on 14.1.15 and persuaded them for ATM Card and PIN No. On 15.1.15, these students saw the message in mobile about deposit of Rs. 20,000.00 in each account and withdrawal of the same within few minutes. But the agent gave them Rs. 500/- and took away all the money threatening them to keep it in secret. 

After sharing this information with the parents and apprehending fraud and forgery in bank transaction, these three students formally filed complaint to Chief Minister, Odisha, Secretary, Department of Higher Education and Secretary, Department of Finance, Govt. of Odisha and Directorate of Treasuries and Inspection, Odisha, Bhubaneswar seeking an enquiry into it.    

Then one parent Sri Ramesh  Ch. Sahu pursued the  case and tried to unearth the truth.  He  formally filed RTI Application dated 3.2.15 to the PIO, Dept. of Higher Education giving  account number of three students (   Surya Prasad Sahu, Ac No- 2774001500001241, Sagar Kumar Debata, Ac. No.- 2774001500008174), Maas Kumar Singh, Ac.No.-2774001500003337)  seeking the information  whether the  meritorious scholarship  has been transferred  to their accounts. On 2.4.15, the PIO replied that no amount has been transferred to these accounts.

 This information   created a lot of confusion among the students and the whole episode shrouded in mystery.

However, Sri Ramesh Ch. Sahu filed another RTI Application dated 4.4.15 to the PIO, office of Directorate of Treasuries  and Inspection, Bhubaneswar seeking  information about  details of enquiry conducted  and action taken on  complaint filed  by these students.

The response of the PIO dated 10.4.15 came with attachment of series of correspondence made between Directorate of Treasury and Inspection,  Bhubaneswar and Punjab National Bank, Bhubaneswar.  It  was mentioned in the letter   that “  on verification of  the data generated  electronically  by the Central Electronic Processing Cell ( CePC)  located  at the Directorate of Treasuries  and Inspection, Odisha  on dated 14.1.15. It is seen that the data files  does not  contain these  accounts number for credit  as destination  account”.  However  the  Directorate  wrote a letter  to  Punjab National Bank, station square , Bhubaneswar seeking an enquiry  about it.

 on 11.4.2014,  the Punjab National Bank wrote  a letter to Directorate of Treasury  that “ we  received  large number of  ECS credits from RBI  every day and more than 50% account  numbers  mentioned  in the RECS file contains wrong account number  by omission/ wrong feeding of single digit/ last digit as zero.  We match  the name  of the account holder with the account number and name  in the RECS  file received  from RBI site and give credit  to the actual beneficiary  by rectifying  the single digit.”

As per Banking  norm,  in case of any kind of mismatch of account number, the Banks are required to  return the transaction  to the RBI  and the same is  returned  back to the Central Electronic Processing cell  as failure payment electronically. 

But, the question arises, how the  Punjab National Bank  itself  suo moto rectified   the account number  and deposited  the money  in  another  account  without returning  the money  to RBI. It is proved that the senior officers of the said Bank  are involved  in forgery  and in connivance of with frauds. They have facilitated a number of illegal transaction and misappropriated huge money meant for students’ scholarship.

 It has also come to our notice from some reliable sources that not only Punjab National Bank but other Banks are also involved in this forgery and misappropriation of Students’ scholarship fund in Odisha.

While looking at magnitude of forgery and malpractice by OKCL and Banks through their agents, we have a considered view of loot of Rs. 50 crore from state exchequer through fraudulent means.

 Steps taken by Odisha Soohana Adhikar Abhijan
1.      On 29.9.16, a Press meet was organised  at Lohia Bhawan  to expose  magnitude of crores of fraud and forgery  by Odisha Knowledge Corporation Limited  in connivance with corrupt Bank officials and Higher Education Dept. in distribution of Medhabruti.
2.      On 30.9.16, Mass Media highlighted the news and made good coverage of the issue.
3.      On 3.9.16, a three member delegation of Pradip Pradhan, Sudhir Mohanty and Sri Ramesh Ch. Mohanty  met Ombudsman of Reserve Bank of India and filed complaint  seeking enquiry into Banking fraud  by Punjab National Bank.
4.      On 4.10.16, a five member  delegation of  Pradip Pradhan, Sudhir Mohanty and Sri Ramesh Ch. Mohanty, Ranjan Kumar Das and Sachikant Pradhan filed complaint in CBI seeking equiry into  banking fraud and loot of 50 crore with involvement of nationalised banks.

Updated by
Pradip Pradhan
Date- 5.10.16 

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