The Union Territory administration has suspended an official of the Department of Higher and Technical Education in connection with the inquiry into the allegations of irregularities in the distribution of financial assistance to CENTAC- sponsored students of medical and engineering colleges.
Sources said that the official was suspended following an inquiry by the education department. The suspended staffer, whose name is yet to be revealed, has been absconding, sources added.
Chief Secretary M Sathiyavathy said the administration had decided to entrust the probe into the alleged irregularities in the funds distribution under the Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Financial Assistance Scheme to the CID wing of the Puducherry police.
Sources said the investigations by the Education Department revealed that there have been 29 cases of discrepancy amounting to Rs 19.7 lakh.
The cheques were issued with a name which is slightly different from the name of the beneficiary and the money credited was withdrawn immediately by the fake ‘beneficiary’ account holder, said sources
The suspended Education Department staffer allegedly used his relatives to open bank accounts and siphon the money deposited, sources added.
Meanwhile, the Pondicherry Students and Parents Welfare Association leader V Balasubramani, who was instrumental in bringing out the irregularities to the notice of the department, demanded that the enquiry be handed over to the CBI. He said the probe by the local investigation agencies might not yield any results and wouldn’t bring all the culprits to the book.
Political parties like AIADMK and PMK have demanded a CBI probe into the Centac irregularities which, they claimed, would bring the real culprits to the book.
The Kamaraj Educational Assistance Scheme was aimed at helping students from economically weak background, enrolled for professional courses, selected through the Centralised Admission Committee (Centac).