The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Friday registered two FIRS against more than 150 persons, including 20 government officials posted in Etawah between 2008 and 2009, for allegedly using fake lists of students to claim an estimated Rs 14 crore in government scholarships in that period.
Those named in the FIRs include the then Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Minority Welfare Officer, Backward Class Welfare Officer, several Additional BSAs, managers, principals and various school staff. The EOW’s primary investigation found 65 schools guilty, with sources saying further probe will be conducted against 30 more schools which had been named in a previous FIR.
EOW sources said district administration officials, school principals and managers prepared fake lists of students from Scheduled Caste, backward and minority communities and got money sanctioned in the name of scholarships. No physical verification of the students was conducted before the money was released, which is a gross violation of the norms, said the FIRs.
“Inquiry into the scholarship scam in Etawah between 2008 and 2009 was going on since 2010 by EOW. There were total 116 junior high schools in the district and 38 of these schools were only on paper and did not exist on the ground. Around 27 existed, but there wasn’t even a single student. In addition, an FIR was registered earlier against 30 schools by the then district magistrate and managers and principals of these schools were arrested. However, no action was taken against the government officials concerned,” said EOW (Kanpur sector) Superintendent of Police Babu Ram.
“On Friday, we registered two separate FIRs in the matter. The first was against 27 schools which exist but have no students and the second was against the 38 that do not even exist. More than 150 people have been named in the FIRs…” he added.
The FIRs were registered at the EOW’s Kanpur sector under IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent ) and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The EOW was recently given the status of a police station to register FIRs after an inquiry, with the permission of the government.