Saturday, 13 February 2016

CBI raids SPA registrar's house in NIPER scam

TNN | Feb 13, 2016, 09.22 AM IST

Bhopal/Chandigarh: CBI on Friday searched residential premises of Rajesh Moza, the registrar of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal, during simultaneous raids at 22 locations across the country in connection with misappropriation of funds in National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali.

Moza was posted in NIPER Mohali before being elevated as registrar of SPA. When contacted, Moza told TOI that he was questioned by the CBI officials in connection with NIPER case. "It's true that I was posted there but I have nothing to do with the scam," he told TOI.

CBI had swooped down on NIPER in Sector 67 of Mohali and booked its officiating director KK Bhutani and eight others for allegedly diverting Rs 2.25 crore meant for the establishment of an intellectual property rights (IPR) department in the institute. Former NIPER director Prof P Ramarao, who holds the post of dean in Bathinda Central University, Punjab, was among those booked under various sections of forgery and cheating of the Indian Penal Code and sections of Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, 1988. The others were identified as wing commander PJP Singh Waraich (rtd), registrar M Josh, finance and accounts officer Bhupinder Singh, former registrar Hardeep Singh, budget and accounts section officer Rajesh Moza, head of department of pharmaceuticals Prof Arvind Bansal and former dean Saranjeet Singh. The raids began early morning at the offices and houses of the NIPER officials at more than 22 places in Chandigarh, Mohali, Kurukshetra, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, New Delhi, Bhopal and Bathinda among others.

The agency seized more than 80 files related to budget and funds from the administrative building of NIPER, an autonomous institute set up by the Union ministry of chemical and fertilizers. RK Gaur, CBI spokesman, told TOI, "Instead of establishing the department, the NIPER management started purchasing Scifinder software at higher costs, causing a loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer. The software was manufactured by a US-based company. NIPER purchased it from a Pune-based private firm, which was also booked. Funds to the tune of Rs 2.25 crore were given to NIPER."

Sources said the establishment of the department was approved under the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012) for promoting educational and career interests of the students. NIPER submitted a proposal to the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, demanding Rs 2.72 crore. The ministry sanctioned Rs 2.25 crore. However, till date, the department has not been set up.

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