Chandigarh, June 7, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Terming the decision of Joint Association of Colleges (JAC) withholding the roll numbers of as many as 2 lakh SC students as irrational, unjustified and atrocious, Former Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Senior Vice President Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukat), Bir Devinder Singh said that the JAC should either put up a direct fight against the Punjab Government or move to High Court against the State Government for non-disbursal of Rs. 1850 crore under the SC post-matric scholarship scheme implemented by the Punjab government.
“If the Punjab Government has not paid the stipend of Rs. 1850 crore as the scholarship amount of Scheduled Caste students for the years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, then what is the fault of the students. Why their future career is being put risk , questioned Sh. Bir Devinder Singh.
He said that very wretchedly and disgracefully, when the Principal Secretary, Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Department Mr. Kirpa Shankar Saroj IAS had exposed the
2000 Crore, Scheduled Castes scholarships mega scam, the Chief Minister, instead of taking firm punitive action in the matter against the erring officials , he instead immediately removed Kirpa Shankar Saroj from the department and rather encouraged the perceived perpetrator Mr. Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, who was then the Director of the Department when the scholarship scam has happened, and who was predictably involved in the said scholarship scam during his tenure, the Chief Minister rewarded him with Congress party nomination to contest the by-election from Phagwara Assembly constituency, who ironically later became an MLA.
“If the Government of India had sent a huge amount of around Rs.2000 crore to the concerned department of the Punjab Government for the payment of scholarships to the Scheduled Caste students, then why the payment was not made assiduously as per the norms to the beneficiaries,” he added.
He further said that now if this entire amount has become a subject matter of huge scam, then it certainly raises eyebrows on the integrity of the Punjab Chief Minister and his alleged involvement in the scam.
Perhaps which is why the Chief Minister, instead of taking stern action against the erring officials as recommended in the report of the Department’s Principal Secretary Kirpa Shankar Saroj, he in turn sent the said report to the Chief Secretary, Vinni Mahajan for further scrutiny; who eventually orchestrated its quite burial , said Bir Devinder Singh.
The investigation report has been buried by the government bureaucrats with the concurrence of the Chief Secretary at the behest of the ‘ Chief Minister ‘. If such scruffy things are conveniently allowed to happen then the office of the Chief Secretary would lose relevance and its appropriateness would also come under the clouds of blemish. Could anybody in the echelon of powers elucidate; as to why there is no transparency in the working of the State Government, whether its Covid-19 vaccine sale scandal or post-matric scholarship of SC students, he added.
It is also learned from a reliable source that the amount which came from the Government of India for the scholarship of Scheduled Caste students was actually distributed by the department under a conspiracy to several Ghost institutions running bogus colleges, showing fabricated enrollment of students, asserted Sh. Bir Devinder Singh.
Interestingly, after the revealing report of Kirpa Shankar Saroj, some such bogus institutions had even returned about Rs. 22 crores to the State government, but the Punjab government did not bother to register any criminal case against such bogus colleges, as the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary were seen working hands in gloves, with each other to shield the culprits said Bir Devinder Singh.