Shimla: In a matter pertaining to wrongful and illegal disbursement and misappropriation of Post- Matric Scholarship Scheme to SC, ST and OBC students, Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday has directed the CBI to file an affidavit specifying the cut-off date within which the investigation in the matter would be completed.
The orders have been passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A.A. Sayed and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, on a writ petition filed by Shyam Lal.
The petitioner has alleged that State Project Officer (SPM NIU Shimla) Shakti Bhushan, who was appointed by the State to investigate the matter of misappropriation of the financial scholarships under the Centrally Sponsored Post Matric Scholarships Scheme for the students belonging to SC, ST and OBC, after conducting an inquiry, lodged an FIR in the year 2018, under the directions of Secretary (Education).
The petitioner has further alleged that the inquiry report revealed that a huge sum of scholarship money was misappropriated. Apart from the educational institutions within the State, scores of educational institutions stationed in the other States of India were also involved in this scam.
Consequently, the matter was handed over to the CBI for a proper and thorough investigation by the State.
The Counsel for CBI filed a fresh status report before the Court. The counsel for CBI submitted that 24 students and five witnesses of Kurukshetra University and Haryana State Board of Technical Education Panchkula have been examined in the matter of ICL Groups of Colleges. Seven witnesses pertaining to ITFT New Chandigarh, IKGPTU Kapurthala and bank officials have been examined.
The counsel for the CBI further stated that CBI has investigated 28 institutions and has completed investigation in respect of 15 institutions and has filed seven charge sheets, so far. Since the submission of the last status report, CBI has completed an investigation in respect of two institutions and has filed two charge sheets and the investigation in respect of the remaining 13 institutions is being conducted. The investigation is being conducted expeditiously and efforts are being made to complete the investigation at the earliest.
However, the court observed that the investigation is being carried out by CBI for the last three years. The Court directed the CBI to file an affidavit giving the cut-off date within which the investigation would be completed. The said affidavit has been directed to be filed by the next date along with the fresh status report. The matter has been fixed for September 19.