Rs 2 cr pension scam unearthed in AG office

One suspended, role of two under scanner
*Police may transfer case to Central agency

Bivek Mathur

JAMMU, Sept 30: A major pension scam, involving approximately Rs 2 crores’ loss to the State exchequer, has been unearthed in the Accountant General (AG) Office here.
Taking cognisance of the matter, the authorities at the AG office have suspended an employee, Harkesh Meena, who allegedly used forged signatures and dispatch numbers in connivance with two of the retired employees of the AG office and some treasury employees for processing pension cases that were not admissible.
According to sources, Rajaji Saproo, the AG office employee, posted at Vijaypur treasury in Samba District, noticed in September this year that his signatures were forged to process and withdraw the pension of one Dhian Singh.
After discovering these discrepancies, Saproo immediately reported the matter to the AG office in Jammu for further investigation into the matter and action thereof.
“After a thorough internal enquiry, the AG office concluded that one of their employees, Harkesh Meena, in collusion with two of the retired employees of the AG office and some treasury officials, was processing non-admissible pension cases using forged signatures and dispatch numbers,” sources revealed.
Meena would keep all the pensioners’ record with him and then use the IDs and forged signatures of Rajaji Saproo and other employees to process the illegal pension cases.
Following the substantiation of the role of Meena in the pension fraud, the AG Office suspended him and transferred the fraud case to Bakshi Nagar Police Station for a detailed investigation into the matter.
“The roles of two retired AG office employees and some treasury employees are also being investigated by the AG office,” they added.
Meanwhile, due to the loss of the significant amount to the State exchequer resulting from the misdeeds of the involved employees, Bakshi Nagar Police Station has requested the higher authorities for the transfer of the case to the central agencies for a thorough investigation.
Pertinently, similar cases of pension fraud have been reported from other areas of the UT, particularly Srinagar, where departmental employees, in connivance with the treasury employees, have reportedly processed pensions using forged signatures and dispatch numbers. In some of the cases, pensions were withdrawn against the dead Government employees as well.