CBI takes over investigation into 'financial irregularities' in national creche scheme
The CBI took up the case against unidentified persons under IPC sections of criminal breach of trust and cheating on a reference from the Ministry of Women and Child Development
The CBI has taken over the investigation into alleged financial irregularities in the running of the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme in which the Indian Council for Child Welfare was one of the implementing agencies, officials said Thursday.
The CBI took up the case against unidentified persons under IPC sections of criminal breach of trust and cheating on a reference from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which had earlier filed an FIR with Delhi Police.
The Delhi High Court had constituted a three-member committee under the chairmanship of the ministry's joint secretary to look into alleged irregularities in the scheme which the Centre implemented till 2016.
According to the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW), 5,029 creches were functional across the country in 2015-16.
Based on the committee's findings, the high court had directed the Centre to take a view if a probe by an agency like the CBI is warranted or not.
It was pointed out that there were several lacunae in the manner the funds received by the ICCW were distributed to the state councils.
It is alleged that funds were distributed without reference to the ground situation regarding the number of creches functioning and children enrolled therein for which extra funds were demanded.
The extra funds were with the state councils, and there was no visible effort to refund the additional funds taken.
"The High Court Committee and minutes of EC (ICCW executive committee) show that the existence of creches at ground level was much below of even that reported by the state councils, leaving a huge margin between fund requirement and fund demanded. The use of this margin of funds is not apparent because records are not maintained as per accounting requirements, and also, a large part of the final disbursement is in cash in all places where records have been traced," the FIR points out.
It said the executive committee (EC) of ICCW is the decision-making body and manages its activities.
"It is seen that EC has been aware of the fact that its programmes were not running as per requirement. There has been no sharing of this information. In fact, knowing that the creches or other programmes were not running properly, projection of funds were still made as if all aspects were fully functional," the FIR alleged.
It alleged that the "level of management shown by ICCW" in running various initiatives of the Ministry does not commensurate with requirements.
"Management is seen to be turning more lax in adherence to scheme guidelines pertaining to programmes assigned to ICCW.... The records...show that progress is not as per target in all programmes," the FIR alleged.