Chennai, Aug 2 (BPNS)
Madras High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into a complaint on misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 2.25 crores by authorities of Pondicherry University.
Single bench judge of the Madras High Court, Justice G. Jayachandran while disposing off a petition filed by A. Anand, President of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) said that the CBI was requested to register the complaint and proceed with the investigation.
The complainant said that he had approached the court after the CBI took time to act upon his complaint of misappropriation of funds sanctioned by the Centre to the Human Resources Development Centre (HRDC) at Pondicherry University. The funds were sanctioned to conduct orientation courses and refresher programmes for the teaching and non-teaching staff of the college.
The petitioner, Anand has approached the CBI after the finance wing of the Pondicherry University found out that there was misappropriation of funds by the then Director of HRDC, S. Hariharan who had forged bills. The bills were forged under the pretext of conducting 92 orientation courses and refresher programmes for staff during the period he officiated as Director between 2008 to 2016.
The DYFI leader had in his complaint filed on February 4, 2022 with the CBI requested for probe against Hariharan, Director of HRDC, Vice Chancellor of the University, Gurmeet Singh, Finance Officer, D. Lazar and officials in the Vice Chancellors office. This was for misuse of Government of India funds, forgery and fabrication of bills and for protecting culprits who have taken the bribes.
The agency conducted a preliminary inquiry and found sufficient material to register the complaint. However as the case was involving public servants, the CBI sought permission from the Centre under section 17 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act for the registration of the case and further proceedings.
The CBI public prosecutor during the hearing informed the court that after its repeated reminders the Ministry of Education had on June 23 intimated that the executive council of the University has not granted sanction for the investigation.
The court observed that if the authorities who are supposed to accord sanction to register the case do not apply their minds and take a decision within a period of 3 months, then the investigating agency should take that the sanction is deemed to have been accorded. The court also said that if the agency was waiting beyond prescribed time there was every possibility of the evidence getting tampered with.