Pension scam: Audit verification of all 50K accounts at Collectorate ordered - Hindustan Times
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Pension scam: Audit verification of all 50K accounts at Collectorate ordered

By, Lucknow
Dec 07, 2023 09:14 AM IST

The verification and audit for such pensioners whose pension is released through various banks was ordered after a woman accountant of the treasury office and her aides were accused of being involved in a scam worth over ₹1.37 crore.

Pension of more than 50,000 people, whose payments are made through the Qaiserbagh collectorate treasury, may be affected, albeit temporarily, due to an audit and verification of the accounts.

Pension scam: Audit verification of all 50K accounts at Collectorate ordered (Pic for representation)
Pension scam: Audit verification of all 50K accounts at Collectorate ordered (Pic for representation)

The verification and audit for such pensioners whose pension is released through various banks was ordered after a woman accountant of the treasury office and her aides were accused of being involved in a scam worth over 1.37 crore.

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Officers said the audit and verification process may take some time.

However, the officers, while admitting that all the accounts will be verified, also added that the delay would be “temporary”.

A case has been registered with the Qaiserbagh police by treasury officer, Rahul Singh.

In his complaint Singh has mentioned names of treasury accountant Renuka Ram of Daliganj, Lucknow and her aides including Vishal of Daliganj, his mother Gulabhi, Pratindra Kashyap of Kaiserbagh and Ramrati of Daliganj. Vishal is a native of Maharajganj district and is a distant relative of prime accused Renuka whose husband also worked as a clerk in Qaiserbagh treasury.

As per the FIR, the fraud was committed between 2014 and 2019 in the name of issuance of pension to Vishal, Gulabhi, Pratindra and Ramrati. None of the beneficiaries were entitled for pension but their identity documents were used in preparing a bill for pension release, the preliminary investigation had revealed.

An official of Qaiserbagh collectorate treasury on the condition of anonymity said, “We are shocked over the modus operandi of the women clerk. Pension of over 22.71 lakh was issued in the name of Vishal and was transferred to the bank account of Pratindra Kashyap. In two other cases of embezzlement, it was found that the counterfeit digital documents were prepared for committing the crime.”

Another 46.96 lakh was transferred to the bank account of Vishal, 42.31 lakh in the bank account of Gulabhi and 30.4 lakh in the bank account of Ramrati.

It further surfaced that Ramrati is mother of Gulabhi and prime accused Renuka is a relative of Vishal, Gulabhi and Ramrati. The bank detail of Pratindra was used to hoard the money which was withdrawn using ATMs in the area in Daliganj locality, said the official.

The prime accused also verified the certificates for date of birth and address proof of the beneficiaries. The fraudsters used the Pension Payment Order (PPO) number of a retired Zila Panchayat Adhikari, so the fraud sounded genuine.

Vishal, who disowned his crime, when notice was served to him and said that Renuka was his relative and he had visited Lucknow 5-6 years back to work as house help at Renuka’s place. He had also given his academic documents to her for this job.

Chief Treasury Officer Sadhna Kori said, “The probe is on. The department will act tough if the clerk is found guilty. Besides that, the police are also probing the case. However, after this incident, I have ordered an audit and verification of all pension accounts that are getting the amounts from the collectorate treasury so that siphoning of government money is stopped.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

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