MCD schools toilet fund leak, FIR lodged

Case registered against top education dept officials for embezzling Rs 1.22 crore

An FIR has been filed against top officials of MCD’s education department and others for alleged misappropriation of funds meant for construction of toilets in primary schools under the Centre's flagship scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a court was told here.

The anti-corruption branch (ACB) of Delhi government has registered the FIR against director of education, MCD, Premlata Kataria, East Delhi municipal corporation’s director of education Kanwar Singh, deputy education officer (Shahdara zone) Tara Gupta, and others for misappropriating the funds meant for construction of toilets in MCD primary schools.

A copy of the FIR was filed before Special judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal on a complaint by Vijay Pal, a retired headmaster of MCD primary school, Shahdara.

The case assumes importance as the Supreme Court had recently directed the Central and all state governments to construct toilets in all government schools.

The FIR says Rs 1.22 crore were credited in the account of the director of education, Municipal Corporation of Delhi under SSA in government’s universalisation of elementary education mission for construction of 610 toilets. But the concerned MCD officers working in the educaton department and others misappropriated it.

"The ACB has said in the FIR that when an inquiy was conducted on Pal’s complaint, it was found that "due procedure was not followed in allocation of work, substandard material is learnt to have been used nor the required sanction was taken and no detailed design was found to be prepared," the FIR said.

“Prima facie it appears that the officials of education department of MCD for their pecuniary benefits and that of others, misappropriated government funds by abusing their official positions as public servants,” it added. “Therefore, a case may be registered against the concerned MCD officials and others,” the ACB said.

Pal was working as a headmaster in an MCD primary school in Shadara zone in 2007-08. In his complaint, Pal had alleged that no toilets were constructed in his school as he had not received the money from Singh, the then deputy education officer, MCD, Shahdara
(south).

Pal alleged he had moved a Right to Information plea in the office of the director of education to see the record of toilets constructed in all MCD primary schools in all the zones. But he was given false information about the money spent on toilet construction in schools when in reality no work had been done.

He also alleged that Singh furnished false information about spending Rs 26.40 lakh on construction of toilets in schools in Shahdara (north) zone.

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