Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

Admitting that there were gross irregularities in the SARTHI institute during the Fadnavis government regime, state OBC welfare Minister Vijay Wadettiwar on Tuesday announced a high level committee investigation into the matter.

The matter was raised in both the houses of the state legislature.He was responding to a discussion on the issue raised through a 'Calling Attention' notice by NCP legislator Satish Chavan in the Maharashtra Legislative Council and Shiv Sena legislator Vaibhav Naik and others in Legislative Assembly.

The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) is a non-profit government body for research, policy advocacy and training for socio-economic and education development of the Maratha and Kunbi-Maratha communities."  Relief and Rehabilitation Secretary Kishor Raje-Nimbalkar was asked to investigate into the alleged irregularities.

He found there were irregularities and D.R. Parihar, then Managing Director of SARTHI  was found partly guilty for these irregularities. alleged corruption andillegal hiring of staff in SARTHI. 

However, objections were raised against this report, therefore government is setting up another Committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte.

The Kunte Committee has been asked to submit its report in the next ten days and appropriate action will be taken basis the committee's findings," Minister Wadettiwar announced in both the houses.

Later in the evening, the state government issued a Government Resolution about setting up of a high-level committee headed by Kunte and comprising of R.N. Laddha, Principal Secretary of Law and Judiciary department, Jaigopal Menon, Director of Accounts and Treasuries. Ravindra Gurav, Deputy Secretary of Bahujan Kalyan Department will be also a member-secretary of this committee."

This committee will have detailed investigation in the administrative and financial irregularities found by Nimbalkar committee and will recommend action against officers responsible for this," stated the Government Resolution(GR).            

The institute was set up in Pune by the previous BJP-led state government and was registered under the Companies Act.

"It was principally a wrong move to register SARTHI under the Companies Act. We are now correcting the mistakes of the previous government. " added Wadettiwar.

The Minister informed that former Managing Director D R Parihar was also a part of the problem that the institute faced. " He was an Indian Forest Service officer.  His behavior was unacceptable. He even refused to inform the state government that SARTHI's chairman had resigned.

When asked about the details of expenditure of the funds government alloted he refused to share the information. " the minister informed the House.Participating in this discussion, former OBC Welfare minister Dr. Sanjay Kute who as a minister set up SARTHI said that the fight between two officers worst hit the reputation of SARTHI.

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