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Vigilance Bureau registers case for misappropriation of Rs 3 lakh in development grants


Chandigarh: The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) during its ongoing campaign against corruption has registered an embezzlement case against former Sarpanch Surinder Singh, village Nurpur, district SBS Nagar, Gram Panchayat Secretary Ashok Kumar, a resident of village Baghoran, District SBS Nagar and Malkit Ram, of village Sarhal Qazian, district SBS Nagar, on charges of misappropriating Rs 3,14,500 by misusing the grants issued by the State Government for development works in the village. In this regard accused Sarpanch Surinder Singh and Malkit Ram have been arrested and efforts are being made to arrest the Panchayat Secretary.

          Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the VB said the Nurpur village had received different grants for construction of streets, crematorium, drains, sewerage, dharamshalas for S.C. and B.C. community during the year 2014 to 2017. Out of these grants received, Rs 75,000 were to be paid by the said accused persons to the laborers for wages/masonry works, but the above said Panchayat Secretary and Sarpanch mentioned Rs 54,500 as a fake entry in cash book for payment of sand/grave in the name of above said Malkit Ram and deposited in his bank account. Later this money was withdrawn from Malkit Ram's bank and they distributed among themselves. These accused have not written any resolution in the panchayat register regarding the use and purpose of this sand/gravel and this payment.

          The spokesperson further added that this village had received grants amounting to Rs 2,60,000 for development works, which includes Rs 1,00,000 for construction of a room in the name of Bhagat Dhanna Ram, Rs 1,00,000 for construction of gym and Rs 60,000 for installation of solar lights. In the report of the technical team, the work for which these grants received, were not found to be done on the spot. He said that during the investigation, it has been proved that a total of Rs 2,60,000, related to the above said works in the development grants, had been embezzled by the Panchayat Secretary and Sarpanch by showing fake entries in the panchayat cash book. Apart from this, no resolution was passed by the Panchayat Secretary and Sarpanch regarding the expenditure and payments of the said grants. In this way, former Sarpanch Surinder Singh, Panchayat Secretary Ashok Kumar including Malkit Ram had committed a total scam of Rs 3,14,500 in the use of grants received by the village from 2014 to 2017.

          The spokesperson informed that in this regard, case number 05 dated 11.03.2024 has been registered against all the above mentioned three accused under sections 13(1)A read with 13(2) and sections 406, 409, 120-B of IPC at VB police station Jalandhar. The arrested accused, former sarpanch Surinder Singh and Malkit Ram, would be produced in the court tomorrow and be taken on remand for further interrogation. Further investigation into this case is ongoing, he added.

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