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School principal, clerk under ACB radar

Saturday, 28 June 2014 - 6:35am IST | Agency: dna

ACB trapped the school clerk accepting Rs 2,000 from the complaint for apparently handing over his daughter's mark sheet and leaving certificate. According to the complainant, the edu dept has received several complaints against the school in the past too

The principal and senior clerk of St Joseph High School in Agripada is under the ACB radar after officials, who had laid a trap, caught the clerk collecting Rs 2,000 from a parent.

According to the Anti Corruption Bureau, the clerk, under the behest of the principal, had demanded Rs2,000 from the parent in return for handing over his daughter's mark sheet and school leaving certificate.

Vishwas Nangre Patil, additional CP, ACB, said: "A few days ago, the complainant approached us stating that the school had been demanding Rs2,000 under 'development and child activity fund'. It allegedly refused to hand over his daughter's mark sheet and school leaving certificate unless the amount was paid. On Friday we laid a trap and caught the clerk accepting the money."

Officials have deferred arresting both principal Lavenia Almeida and clerk Victorian Barrett.

According to Patil, prima facie it was illegal to collect the amount. "We are questioning both the principal and the clerk. We have deferred their arrests as we will be approaching the education dept to verify the legality of the amount," said Patil.

The complainant, Zahir Ansari, a taxi driver, approached ACB a few days ago after having met both the principal and the clerk. According to him, in the past, the school was embroiled in several controversies, and parents have been approaching the education dept with complaints since 2009.

Ansari said: "The school has extorted money from parents in the past and the education dept has warned the principal several times. I recorded the conversation I had with the clerk when she was demanding money. I also collected background documents and letters by parents and the education dept, and handed them over to ACB officials."

ACB officials said they would also question school staff and parents. An officer said: "Many complaints have been brought to the notice of the education dept in the past. We will verify them. We have come to know that the school has collected money running into several lakhs illegally under building fund, PTA fee, donation, etc."

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