After finding out about the involvement of six officials in the Rs 39 crore SC Post-Matric Scholarship scam, the AAP government, on Friday, dismissed the officials, according to media reports.
While four of the dismissed officials were said to be from the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities, the other two were from the Finance Department, media reports added. The order for the dismissal was given by Dr Baljit Kaur, the Minister for Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities.
According to media outlets, Parminder Singh Gill-Deputy Director, Mukesh Bhatia-Section Officer, Rajinder Chopra- Superintendent, Baldev Singh-senior assistant, Charanjit Singh- Deputy Controller, and Rakesh Arora-senior assistant were all reportedly dismissed by the Bhagwant Mann led AAP Government, with the latter two already having retired.
The directions given by the then-CM, Capt Amarinder Singh, for the scholarships to be given to SC students were ignored, with special undue benefits given to some private institutes, the departmental investigation found, according to media outlets.
Benefits provided to the private institutes ran in the crores, the probe found. Additionally, instead of seeking approval from the Finance Department to conduct the re-audit of the 14 institutes, more institutes were added to the beneficiary lists, media reports detail.
Around Rs.16.91 crores were provided to some nine institutes without seeking prior approval from the finance department, media reports added.
Former Additional Chief Secretary (Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities) Kirpa Shankar Saroj had previously submitted a report back in 2020 detailing supposed irregularities in scholarship disbursal.
Consequently, Former Additional District and Sessions, Judge BR Bansal, held an enquiry regarding the same.
In 2022, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann also launched an enquiry into the alleged discrepancies.