BMC Ex-Gratia Scam: Lokayukta To Expand Area & Period Of Probe; Sambal Programme Officials To Be Questioned

BMC Ex-Gratia Scam: Lokayukta To Expand Area & Period Of Probe; Sambal Programme Officials To Be Questioned

Amount disbursed to kin of labourers who died during Covid-19 likely to come under purview. Volume of anomalies may multiply as the probe encompasses other municipal zones

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 12:56 AM IST
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Bhopal Municipal Corporation office | FP Photo

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Lokayukta Bhopal may expand its investigation into the Bhopal Municipal Corporation's (BMC) ex-gratia and funeral aid distribution scam covering the period during the Corona pandemic, officials said on Monday.

Several anomalies are coming to fore as the Lokayukta probe into the financial irregularity is progressing and so the area and period may be expanded, said the officials. The Lokayukta police have filed a case against 17 BMC employees, including officials, for embezzling funds meant for the kin of deceased. Out of 118 cases identified so far, around 90 to 100 involve fraudulent payments.

“The scam is not limited to just 118 cases; it is much larger and likely has been ongoing for years, unnoticed by BMC officials since the inception of the scheme. The probe will also cover the role of ward in-charges, zonal officers, and other employees in case file preparation and fund distribution,” said one of the senior officials of Lokayukta.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, several laborers died, and the government provided funeral assistance to their kin. The officials suspect that BMC employees might have taken advantage of the pandemic restrictions to siphon off the funds and so they are planning to bring under the probe preview the cases of ex-gratia and funeral funds distribution during pandemic time.

Sambal prog officials to come under probe purview

DSP Sanjay Shukla told Free Press that the roles of Sambal program officials will also be investigated. The police are going to extend the investigation to include the entire period of fund distribution.

“The 118 cases currently under investigation are from a few zones and wards. Funds were also distributed in other zones, and these areas will be included in the investigation in the coming days,” he added.

Only seven cases found valid so far

Out of 23 files handed to the Lokayukta police, only seven cases have been found valid. In 15 cases, the name of the deceased and the beneficiary are the same.

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