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Now, Salman Khurshid’s NGO under CAG scrutiny

A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report confirming the allegations of irregularities in the Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: While India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters continue to protest against alleged irregularities in an NGO run by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise, more trouble has brewed up for the Congress leader with a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report confirming the allegations of irregularities in the Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

What the CAG report says:

Misappropriation of grant of Rs. 71.50 lakh interest of Rs. 15.49 lakh thereon and irregular release of further grant of Rs 68.25 lakh.

On the basis of recommendation of Uttar Pradesh government grant in aid amounting to Rs 71.50 lakh was sanctioned to Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust Delhi (March 2010) as non-recurring grant during the financial year 2009-10 for distribution of aid and appliances under the above mentioned scheme.

The Scheme was to be implemented in the 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh. As per the guidelines of the scheme, the camps were to be held for distribution of aid and appliances.

Test check of at least 5 to 10 percent of the beneficiaries to whom aids and appliances to be given were to be conducted by the field agency created by recommending authority and forwarded to the Ministry.

Further, photographs of the camp/function for distribution of aids and appliances undertaken with the grant in aid assistance and also press clippings, posters, pamphlets etc. regarding organisation of camp(s) for undertaking distribution work are to be submitted to the Ministry with the proposal for subsequent release of grant under ADIP scheme.

Test check of records revealed the following irregularities:

  • In the test check reports relating to Bareilly, Siddhartha Nagar and Shahjahapur, dates of
    camp were stated to be 15.01.10, 25.01.10 and 15.02.10 respectively. However, Trust vide letters
    dated: 01.04.10 addressed to the District Magistrate of these districts intimated that the Trust
    intended to hold camp for grant sanctioned by the ministry for the year 2009-10. It indicates that
    camps were not held before April, 2010 in these three districts. Thus, wrong information was
    furnished by the Trust to the Ministry.

  • Ministry requested (November 2011) the Special Secretary, Department of Disabled
    Welfare, UP to confirm the veracity of the test check reports submitted by the Trust for the
    grants released during 2009-10. Referring to this letter, Chief Development Officer, Allahabad
    on 16-09-11 and District Magistrate, Allahabad on 07-10-11 confirmed that no camp was
    organized by the Trust till then. Thus, out of 17 districts, no camps were held in Allahabad,
    Bareilly, Siddhartha Nagar and Shahjahapur.

  • In remaining of the districts, the Camps were organized during the period January-March
    2010. However, the aid and appliances were purchased in July, 2010 as indicated in the table
    above. In case of Sant Ravidas Nagar, it was noticed that inspection was got conducted on
    04.06.2010, but the aid and appliances were dispatched by supplier on 19.07.10.

  • Instead of recovering the grants along with interest of Rs. 15.49 lakh (@ 10% per annual
    from April 2010 to May, 2012, the Ministry released grant of Rs. 68.25 lakh (March 2011) for
    the financial year 2010-11 for implementing the scheme in the same 17 districts of U.P. for
    which grant of Rs 71.50 lakh was released during 2009-10. As per terms and conditions of the
    sanctions, a utilization certificate was to be furnished within six months of the close of the
    financial year i.e. 30.9.11. However, no UC was received till the date of audit.
    From the above, it can be concluded that the on one hand entire grant of Rs. 71.50 lakh
    was not utilised by the Trust for the purpose for which it was sanctioned and on other the wrong
    report regarding organisation of the camp was given by the Trust.

    It is pertinent that annual accounts of the Dr. Zakir Hussein Memorial Trust for the years 2005-06 to 2010-11 were sent to this office which were found attracting audit (except 2006-07) under Section 14 the Comptroller and Auditor General`s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971. Accordingly, an audit team deputed for audit w. e .f. 2nd March 2012, visited official address at 4, Gulmohar Avenue, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi for audit. However, audit could not be taken up as no one was available at the address. Thereafter, Audit team was deputed again twice on 19th March and 2nd April 2012 after communiqué to the Trust. However, audit team found no body present at the address; hence audit could not be completed. Moreover, no response from the Trust was received in respect to our communication.

    From this finding in the Ministry and chain of events relating to audit of the Trust indicates suspected fraud in the accounts of the Trust. On this issue Ministry stated that The Trust is not under the aegis of this Ministry.

    The reply of the Ministry is factually incorrect as the grants have been released by the Ministry of Social justice & Empowerment to Trust and as per the provisions of the sanction order accounts of the Trust would be open for audit by CAG of India. Hence, control with respect to getting the audit of Trust conducted by the CAG of India rest with the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and in event of non compliance of conditions of the sanction order Ministry may take actions against the Trust.

    In response to audit observation Ministry in its reply stated (11.06.12) that due to paucity of time, the test check reports for 2009-10 directly submitted by the NGO were accepted subject to the condition that the same would be got confirmed separately. Regarding the holding of Camps during January, 2010 to March, 2010 and procurement of aid and appliances in July, 2010, it was stated that it would be got clarified from the NGO.

    The reply is not tenable as the guidelines stipulate that test check reports must come through the State Government and the Ministry failed to properly scrutinize the information furnished by the Trust relating to holding of camps for distribution of aids and appliances.

    In the light of the above it is suggested that grant of Rs. 71.50 lakh may be recovered from the trust along with up to date interest on it.

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