CHINNDWARA: The Madhya Pradesh government has ordered a probe after money was allegedly withdrawn under a state scheme for construction workers using fake death certificates of at least 23 villagers in Chhindwara district, Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel said.
"The government has taken the matter seriously in which death certificates of 23 persons, who are still alive, were issued in Chhindwara's Bohnakhedi village and money was withdrawn in their name under a scheme," Patel said in a statement.
Patel, who is the minister in-charge of Chhindwara, said the district administration has been directed to register FIRs against erring employees and others after conducting an inquiry.
"It is a serious matter. I have told the district collector to investigate all such cases in the entire district and take action against the people involved in it," he said.
Citing news reports, officials said an amount of Rs two lakh each was withdrawn using fake death certificates of 23 people in Bohnakhedi village under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Rules.
All these people are allegedly alive.
In the case of normal deaths, an ex gratia of Rs two lakh is paid to the dependents of the deceased construction worker under these rules.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Atul Singh said a tehsildar (Revenue department official) is conducting an inquiry and action will be taken if any official of Panchayat or Janpad Panchayat is found to be involved.
Janpad Panchayat CEO CL Maravi said, "This matter has come to my notice. It is being investigated. If anyone is found guilty after investigation, then strict action will be taken against them."
Vinod Pal, one of the beneficiaries of the scheme, said he is still alive but he came to know that Rs two lakh was withdrawn in his name through his "death" certificate.
According to officials, a total of 106 death certificates were issued during the past two years in Bonakhedi village with a population of 2,800.