Officials of the Vishrambaug police station booked a few of the officials of the Sir Parshuram College for alleged misappropriation of funds that were meant for scholarship of students belonging to Schedule Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) and for collecting fees from these students between 2006 and 2012.
Officials said the college authorities, who worked in the process of allocating scholarship to the students, have so far embezzled funds worth Rs 29 lakh which they collected the ST and SC students.
SWD Inspector S A Salunkhe, who visited the S P College after the department received several complaints against its authorities, registered the complaint.
The SWD, which lodged a complaint against the S P College, alleged that similar misappropriation of funds had occurred in Modern College on Ganeshkhind Road and its college officials were under scanner too.
“As per the state Government Resolution (GR) published in 2005, SC and ST category students have 100 per cent fee waiver and colleges are not supposed to take a single rupee as fee from them. Irrespective of this rule, both S P and Modern College collected fee illegally, and also received funds from the government,” Salunke said.
He was a part of the three-member committee that visited S P College on August 22 and thoroughly checked all the documents related to scholarship.
Salunke said after the investigation, they sent a letter to the police commissioner and asked him to take appropriate action against the colleges. Based on this letter, officials from the Vishrambaug police station took action against S P College officials and booked a few of them for misappropriation of funds.
He said the investigation revealed that S P college officials had collected Rs 29 lakhs as fee from SC and ST students between 2006 and 2012. When asked about the action iitiated against the Modern College, he said they have written to the police and soon a complaint would be registered against Modern College officials too.
SWD Additional Commissioner Ravindra Kadam Patil confirmed that the department concluded a detailed inquiry against S P and Modern College.
“As per rules framed by the government, both aided and unaided colleges in the state are not supposed to take any fee from SC and ST students,” said Kadam Patil.
Police Inspector Rajendra Sawant of the Vishrambaug police station said that they have booked a few some officials from S P College under Sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
An official from the Chatushringi police station said investigation against Modern College officials was on. S P College Principal Dilip Sheth refuted allegations levelled against some of the officials. “It is a normal procedure across all colleges in the city. After the college receives funds from the Social Welfare Department, we refund fee to students. We have all the documental evidence,” Sheth said.
When pointed out that the 2005 GR states that colleges are not supposed to collect fees from SC and ST students, Sheth said, “We haven’t receive any money as fees of for SC and ST students from the SWD since 2009. That’s why the college collected the fee.”
Despite repeated attempts, none of the Modern College authorities were available for comment.
“This is just the beginning. The corruption involved in students’ scholarship funds is too big. The S P College officials did not give us documents about fee collected from students of aided courses,” Prof Pravin Ransure, founder chairperson of Dalit Comrade, said.
In the last few months, the Dalit Comrade had collected documents related to the fee charged by the S P College by filing an RTI query.