Lokayukta police have humungous task ahead for investigating the ‘Absentee Scholarship Scam’ that it recently unfolded. Although it has started off only by pulling strings of a few para-medical colleges in the city, there are as many as 542 schools and colleges in city in which state government disburses scholarships to the students.
In the academic year 2012-13, state government allocated scholarships to 85,588 students in different caste categories in Indore alone. The total money disbursed as scholarships in the last academic session (2012-13) cost the state exchequer of Rs133.52 crore.
“Not every one is a wrong beneficiary, but there are many whom we have to find by doing a lot of scrutiny,” said a Lokayukta special establishment police official.
So far police have leveled charges against 24 people, including five government officials, managing directors of nine para-medical colleges, five bank officials and five students.
Hundreds of people may come into fold of the scam in Indore alone, as the probe progresses.
Like PMT fraud unfolded one after other and STF produced charge sheet against 34 accused in December last year and lodged FIRs against 143 people, the ‘Absentee Scholarship Scam’ would also involve hundreds of people in its fold.
Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) has disqualified as many as 345 students for their alleged involvement in the fraud. Likewise, many students who wrongfully claim scholarships by enrolling themselves in different colleges and different courses will fall in the line of criminals.
Sources said, barring a few colleges, most colleges have false registration of names of students for scholarships.
With the staff of only 22-25 police personnel, the task of Indore division Lokayukta to look into complaints of corruptions throughout the division becomes even more difficult. “We cannot take help of law & order police for investigation. Many letters have been written to higher ups in the past to enhance the staff strength, but for nothing avail, said an official.