Audit raised objections to travel expenses of Vyapam experts

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) The Madhya Pradesh government auditor had raised a number of objections related to inflated travel expenses by experts hired by the state’s Professional Examination Board or Vyapam for an examination in 2006-07 and had called for expeditious investigations, a reply to an RTI plea says.

An RTI reply by the Directorate of Local Funds and Audit (LFA) earlier this year to Bhopal-based activist Ajay Dubey revealed that all the experts for the “pre-post graduate examination 2006” travelled from Indore to Bhopal on April 17, 2006, on the Intercity Express but claimed reimbursement for travel by “second AC” class on other trains.

The time for travel by experts shown in their documents coincided with the timings of Indore-Bhopal Intercity Express, a train which has no “second AC” coaches.

The LFA also said in its reply that six experts had claimed money but did not produce any documents or tickets to Vyapam – Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal – for their travel from Indore to Bhopal.

In some cases, the experts furnished erroneous ticket numbers.

“Experts hired by Vyapam – Dr. Sandhya Jain, Dr. Jaya Joshi, Dr B.M. Srivastava and Dr. Dashrath Jain – provided nine-digit numbers and Dr. Chandradata Kulkarni provided an eight-digit number. Dr. Pradip Jain provided a 10-digit ticket number. They all claimed a reimbursement of Rs.1,038, which is the rate for second AC ticket,” the audit report stated.

The audit report further said that in March 2007, about eight other experts claimed reimbursement for second AC travel even before the completion of their tour. It said they did not provide any ticket details.

“They had travelled to Bhopal from places like Gwalior and Jabalpur,” the audit report said. A few other experts in June and December 2006 claimed reimbursements without furnishing any ticket number or details for second”AC,” the report added.

Dubey said that LFA had asked Vyapam to investigate the matter and if irregularities were found, recover the money from the experts.

Vyapam conducts examinations to recruit government employees in Madhya Pradesh and holds admission tests for medical courses.

The irregularities in Vyapam came to light when 20 people were arrested in 2013 for impersonating in an entrance examination held in 2009.

The Supreme Court on July 9 handed over the Vyapam cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has already registered 84 FIRs and launched 12 preliminary inquiries into the Vyapam scam.

Forty-five people associated with the Vyapam scam have died – mostly under mysterious circumstances.

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