Friday 15 June 2018

Niper suspends registrar booked for corruption

| Jun 15, 2018, 00:43 IST

Mohali: National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Niper) on Thursday suspended its registrar Wg Cdr PJP Singh Waraich (retd), said an official statement.
He was suspended for his alleged involvement in Rs 2.25-crore software scam and was booked by the CBI in February 2016, said the official spokesperson of Niper. CBI had booked the then Niper director KK Bhutani along with Wg Cdr Waraich and seven others for their alleged involvement in diverting Rs 2.25 crore meant for the establishment of an intellectual property rights (IPR) department in the institute.

Others booked under various sections of forgery and cheating of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act included former director P Ramarao, 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.

As per CBI files, the accused allegedly started purchasing Scifinder software at higher costs instead of establishing the department, causing a loss of crores to the exchequer. The software was manufactured by a US-based company. Niper purchased it from a Pune-based private firm, which was also booked.

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.

In May 2016, a PhD student of Niper sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the registrar-cum-chief vigilance officer. In his letter, he demanded that Waraich, whose tenure was to end on July 3, 2016, should not be allowed to continue on the post further.

Waraich was appointed as the registrar on June 9, 2011, by a selection committee headed by acting director K K Bhutani. He was appointed on a contract for five years and the term was to end on July 3, 2016. After his selection, his appointment was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana high court in November 2012. The petition was quashed and Waraich was allowed to complete his term. His term was later extended.