Alirajpur (Madhya Pradesh): Ongoing probe into fraudulent payments made by Katthiwada block education officer (BEO) office into suspicious accounts has become a topic of discussion in Alirajpur. Initially, it was assumed that the more than Rs 20 crore had been embezzled. However, despite two visits, the probe team failed to ascertain the amount and the bank account from which the payment was done.
The probe team reached Katthiwada on August 16 for the first time and returned after a day’s investigation. The team was led by Surendra Parmar. The team visited again on August 24 under the leadership of assistant director of finance, fund and accounts Samkit Jain. The team stayed put for two days.
All this has given rise to the notion that efforts were underway to put the fraud in cold storage. Fingers of suspicion are also being raised at the district administration.
How scam came to light
Directorate of treasury and accounts of Bhopal office stumbled upon the scam while checking treasury records available in IFMIS (or Integrated Financial Management and Information System).
The payment was made into accounts through DDO code 4902506054 of accounts assistant Kamal Rathore from the office of withdrawal and disbursement officer at BEO Katthiwada related to Alirajpur Treasury.
The name of the employee vendor beneficiary with more than one different name was found written in this account. The payments made in these accounts came under the category of suspicious and fraudulent. Due to this, an investigation into all payments of the fiscal and the last five years from 2018–19 to 2023–24, was started. In the last five years, government funds of Rs 20,36,34,988 were deposited in 134 different accounts. The amount was paid through DDO code 4902506054 by Kamal Rathore, accounts assistant of BEO Katthiwada. Now, 134 accounts are under investigation. In the last five years, Kamal Rathod received huge sum in the accounts of his wife, father, and other relatives. No one was even aware of these payments being made for the last five years. The investigation team came twice to investigate these accounts, but no action was taken.
Apart from his relatives, he kept paying the amount into the accounts of about 134 people. Amount running into lakhs of rupees was paid into each account. Kamal's wife, Pragya Rathore, is named twice.
In five years, through various bills, Rs 53,81,855 was submitted into an account of Pragya, and Rs 21,91,088 into another account. Huge amount was also deposited into three different accounts in the name of Kamal Rathore himself. Rs 51,39,456 in one account, Rs 51,66,529 in second and Rs 28,67,706 in third account were deposited in the last five years. Apart from this, lakhs were also paid into father's accounts.