Accused admits he embezzled funds by way of pretend institutes in Himachal

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, January 10

The CBI has got a major breakthrough in the investigation into the Rs 250-crore scholarship scam with key accused Arvind Rajta reportedly confessing to his involvement in the crime.

The CBI found that Rajta, the then Superintendent in the Department of Higher Education, had 33 per cent stake in the name of his wife in nine fake institutions.

The institutes located in Una, Chamba, Sirmaur and Kangra districts in the name of Nilet, Skill Development and ITI were not affiliated and over Rs 28 crore of scholarship money was disbursed to these centres. There were three partners having equal share.

CBI raids revealed that the centres were running from just one or two rooms. Rajta reportedly told the CBI that his wife had no involvement in the scam and he owned full responsibility. The CBI is now investigating the properties amassed by Rajta.

Sources said the centres would submit a fake list of SC/ST and other eligible category candidates to the Education Department and Rajta would disburse the money without verification.

Investigations revealed that the bungling was going on since 2012-13. The scholarship money was not credited to the accounts of over 32,000 students under 36 schemes. As many as 272 private educational institutions are under the scanner for cornering 80 per cent funds. Many centres enrolled ineligible candidates and opened fake bank accounts to siphon off funds.

The modus operandi

  • To claim scholarship fund, the centres would submit a fake list of SC/ST candidates
  • Key accused Arvind Rajta, the then superintendent in Higher Education Department, would disburse the money without verification
  • Over Rs28 crore was allocated to fake centres in which his wife owns 33 per cent stake

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