It seems like corruption has grown deep rooted in every department of the civic body of the national capital. This time North MCD, the largest of the trifurcated civic agency of the capital got the scar of corruption on the face of the its most pious department i.e. Education Department. The BJP ruled civic agency seems helpless to mark a check on corruption which is now rampant in every department of the cash crunched civic body.
On receipt of a written complaint containing very serious allegations of criminal breach of trust, falsification of accounts, cheating, forgery as well as misappropriation of amount meant for the purpose of the distribution among students studying in North Delhi Municipal Corporation Primary School, Baljeet Nagar (Girls), team FACI verified the allegations and most of the said allegations were substantiated against the Principal and Teachers of the said school who were working there as on 21.01.2015.
Around two months back when we received a detailed complaint (complainant name cannot be disclosed as per the policy of Fight Against Corruption & Injustice) wherein it was alleged that in January 2015, a sum of Rs. 4,51,110 was entrusted by to the principal of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Primary School, Baljeet Nagar (Girls) for distribution to 1367 students enrolled in her school from class I to V at the rate of Rs. 330/- per student in lieu of one sweater, two pair of socks and one belt.
It was also alleged that instead of distribution of Rs 330 per student, the principal and few teachers illegally misappropriated the public funds for purchasing sweater, socks and belt. However, the story did not come to an end here and the parents were made to sign for the receipt of Rs. 330 while no money was handed over to them. It was also alleged in the complaint the quality of the material of sweater, socks and belts was of very low standard.
Further allegation contained in the complaint mentioned that the concerned School Inspector Smt. Sarla Kelkar, enquired into the complaints of the parents received in zonal office wherein she violated the rules and regulations meant for the purpose and thus she protected the principal of the school for her criminal offences.
However, as a matter of exception the complaint detailed the fact that except the students of class VA, all the students were distributed the material and not the money. As per complaint, the class teacher of class VA denied to distribute the material and distributed the money at the rate of Rs. 330 per student of her class. Significantly, two other teachers mentioned in the concerned official record that material has been distributed instead of money and rest of the teachers of the school mentioned in their records that Rs 330 have been distributed to each student of their class.
Team FACI, after receipt of the above complaint and on going through the complete facts mentioned therein, took a serious view and handed over the same to its investigation wing. The investigation wing, verified the veracity of the contents of the complaint by visiting ground zero and meeting the students studying in MCPS Baljeet Nagar (Girls) and their parents on random selection. Reshma (name changed) of class IV E told that like all the students of my class I was also provided one sweater, two pair of socks and one belt bearing the name and logo of the school.
Avdesh Kumar (name changed) a father of class Vth C student also told that no PTM (Parents Teacher Meeting) is being held since last one year. It was also revealed that some students have also received the jersey without any logo on it. Shockingly, most of the allegations were substantiated against the principal and the teachers.
FACI also contacted few teachers who on the condition of anonymity told us “hamne to vaisa hi kiya jaisa principal madam ne kaha, hame to bataya gaya tha ki upar se order aaye hain aur paise nahi balki sweater, jurabein aur belt hi bantni hain” ( we did what we were ordered to do by the principal madam. We were told by the principal that higher authorities have ordered to distribute sweater, socks and belt instead of money). Two among the senior teachers of the school when asked said that they have distributed the money and not the material.
During our investigation, we also approached some industry known person engaged in selling school uniform including jerseys, socks and belts and they told us that one jersey, two pair of socks and one belt bearing logo and name of school can be purchased in less than Rs. 150 when purchased in quantity.
As per the complaint, few aware parents made written complaints before the Deputy Director of Education of Karol Bagh Zone against this but no action was taken by the Head of office as per the prescribed rules for the purpose which again raises serious questions over the functioning of officers of North DMC. It may have also resulted into the tempering of evidences in the school record for which the accountability lies with the Deputy Director of Education, Karol Bagh Zone and other concerned officers.
Meanwhile the matter was referred to Vigilance Department, of North DMC where the matter was enquired and on the basis of the said preliminary enquiry, memo was issued to those two teachers who had mentioned the fact in the official record that sweater, socks and belt have been distributed to the students of their respective classes. The matter is under investigation since then and no further action has been taken by vigilance department.
Update : From its sources, FACI got an information that in minor penalty proceedings, the principal has punished while stopping her two increments. The information was later on confirmed by the Deputy Director of Education, Karol Bagh Zone over telephone.
FACI, after completion of the job of its investigation wing, handed over the case to its legal wing which after close scrutiny of the complaint with its annexures and the evidences collected by the investigation wing came to the conclusion that prima facie there is a strong case against the principal and involved teachers, if any of MCPS Baljeet Nagar (Girls) along with the officers of Zonal level of North DMC U/s 477A/406/409/420/468/471/167/218/34/120B/166/197/ 198/199/200/217/403/417/ 421/465 of IPC 1860.
Mr. Ratan Lal Gupta, advocate and president of Fight Against Corruption & Injustice told that “ After close monitoring and scrutiny of complete facts of the case, prima facie it appears that the wrong-doers of this act are not only the principal and her associate teachers but also the officers and other component of civic machinery who started protecting the wrong doers at the cost of those who acted bonafidely on the orders of the principal. What hurts me more is that more than a year has elapsed since the matter was reported to vigilance and still the preliminary enquiry is going on and more shockingly, the action has been taken against the concerned principal under minor penalty proceedings while stopping her two increments while they were required to lodge FIR in this matter as per the rules prescribed under vigilance manual.”
He further added that “Recently in similar cases of misappropriation of school funds Delhi’s Education Minister and Deputy Chief Minister has ordered for termination of 5 school principals of different schools (read complete story here) however in North DMC in a more serious matter the principal is being protecting from legal punishment just by imposing minor penalty upon her when it is prima facie evident that it is a clear case of Criminal Breach of Trust by Public Servant U/s 409 and other applicable provisions of IPC. It is unacceptable to us and we will make sure that the complete investigation be carried out by Delhi Police and thereupon the guilty be punished in accordance with law.”
Mr. Vishwadeep Shokeen, advocate and Joint Secretary of Fight Against Corruption & Injustice questioned the functioning of vigilance department while saying that “Being an open and shut case, it took us mere 15 days to investigate the whole matter and collection of evidence while vigilance department is enquiring into the matter since more than a year. It is the complete failure of the vigilance department of North DMC. He further added that FACI has decided to launch criminal prosecution against all those who are involved in the above act of misappropriation of childrens’ money as well as protection of the wrong doers. We would ensure the transparency and accountability in this matter which is also the prime motive of our organization.”
Meanwhile FACI has filed a complaint for registration of FIR in Patel Nagar Police Station against the concerned school principal, all teachers of said school working there as on 21.01.2015 and the concerned School Principal Smt. Sarla Kelkar for the above offences as per their acts of violation of law of the land.
However just within few hours of filing the complaint our president Mr. Gupta was contacted by the husband of Smt. Sarla Kelkar who threatened our president. He said that there are three DCPs who are the batchmate of their son and posted in Delhi. He said that he will file a defamation complaint in this matter.
When contacted over phone, the Deputy Director of Education of Karol Bagh Zone, North DMC, Smt. Pushpa told FACI that “paisa baantna chahiye tha use, department ne paisa diya tha use bachchon ka aur usne jersey baanti hai Department ki knowledge mein tha, itna hame nahi malum ke turant use hatana chahiye tha, who nahi hati ye sachchai hai, wo aaj ki date mein bhi wahi hai. Sarla Kelkar to bahut imandaar school inspector hai. jahan galti hui hai, wo galti to galti hai”.
Further Smt. Sarla Kelkar was also contacted to take her comments on allegations upon her, she told FACI that “Ye mamla bahut pehle hi ho chuka hai clear, iski report ja chuki hai, vigilance department se principal ki do increment rokne ka order bhi ho chuka hai, faisla ho chuka aur usme jo galti kari principal ne uske against to hamne karyawahi kar li, tabhi to uski increment ruki hain do. Principal ne paisa baantna chahiye tha lekin usne jersey baant di. Meri isme koi galti nahi hai”.
FACI also contacted the concerned school Principal, Smt. Vimla Devi to take her comments, she said that “hamare school me paisa hi baanta gaya hai aur kisi ne jersey, jurabein ya belt nahi baanti hain, paisa hi baanta gaya hai”. However, she threatened the FACI representative to see if the story is published and further she made a complaint against him to women helpline. However, on receipt a call from the women helpline, FACI representative narrated the actual facts to the officer.
FACI also tried to contact the Additional Commissioner (Education), North DMC to take her comments in this matter but the phone was not picked up.
The article is submitted to all the readers to take their view in this matter as per their wisdom in the given facts. Further, if any of the reader come across any further evidences related to this matter then FACI request him or her to send it to us by post at our office address or through our official email. We assure you that your identity shall never be disclosed as per our policy.
Meanwhile, the matter has been handed over to one of the advocates associated with the organization to take the appropriate legal proceedings in the issue, if the police officials do not discharge their duty as per law, in this matter.
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