Staff transferred several lakh of rupees to his relatives’ bank accounts

The Education Department is investigating the misappropriation of funds marked for student fees under the Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Financial Assistance Scheme.

According to government sources, fees meant for students studying in the Medical and Engineering colleges has been misappropriated and transferred to someone else’s account by one of the staff of the department.

The department is currently investigating the matter, and so far they have detected that the funds of some 30 students amounting to Rs. 26 lakh has been transferred to other accounts.

Many of the persons who had received the money were not even students and some of them were found to be relatives of the staff member.

They are still investigating to see if there are further cases where the funds had been misappropriated in this manner. So far, both engineering and medical students are found to be affected.

Since the name and the bank account number of the fake beneficiaries were found to be consistent, it was not a case of a human error, sources explain.

The matter was brought to light around a month ago when one student from the 2010-11 batch filed a petition stating that he had not received the fees despite many of his colleagues receiving theirs.

Upon investigation, it was found that the fees meant for him had been transferred to another account with a different name. It was after this incidence that the department ordered a deeper probe into the issue , sources said.

In this regard, the Pondicherry Students and Parents Welfare Association have filed a complaint with various government officials, including the Chief Secretary and the Education Secretary.

According to the complaint, the association has alleged that several crores of rupees have been misappropriated by issuing cheques in the name of fake persons. Also, the scheme is meant only to support students who do not have arrears, but at the time of disbursement of fees, even those students with arrears have been paid the fee amount, it charged.

The complaint has asked for a proper and fair enquiry in order to bring the real facts to light.

When contacted, Secretary of Education G. Ragesh Chandra said the matter was being taken very seriously and once the investigations are complete and all the fake beneficiaries identified, the department would file criminal cases and charge sheets against all those involved in the case.

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