Haryana IAS officer, international shooter kids indicted for fraud to win Rs 60 lakh cash awards

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New Delhi | Published: March 14, 2019 8:24:45 AM

His kids Vishwajeet and Gauri Sheoran are winners of the prestigious Bhim award.

ias, upsc, ias elegibility, ias salary, ias officer, ias corruption, ias fraud, haryana, international shooter, international sports, bhim award(Source: IE)

Former Director (Sports) Jagdeep Singh, an IAS officer, his son Vishwajeet Singh and daughter Gauri Sheoran, both international level shooters, have been indicted in a probe by Haryana Sports Department. Both shooters are accused of making fraudulent claims and receiving “excessive cash awards” of up to Rs 60 lakh when their father IAS officer Jagdeep Singh was director of sports, reports The Indian Express.

Recommending a case against the three on criminal breach of trust, cheating and embezzlement, the probe has indicted the three in several offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Jagdeep Singh, who is presently in the Finance department of the Haryana government had been transferred out of Sports in 2018.

His kids Vishwajeet and Gauri Sheoran are winners of the prestigious Bhim award. The probe also recommended that the two “may be ordered to return the Bhim statue, Certificate, Blazer, Scarf and Tie” and also “return the money illegally received with 12 per cent interest per annum”.

All three accused have been ordered to respond within 15 days as to why they should not be charged with a criminal case, said the Indian Express report.

Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka submitted report

Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka who was then Principal Secretary, Sports, submitted the probe report in December 2018. Sports Minister Anil Vij had sanctioned the action recommended and the file was submitted to Chief Minister’s Office.

Khattar’s OSD (Tour) Alok Verma asked a few questions to which Khemka replied: “As public servants, we do not function according to our whims and caprices, but we are guided by the rule of law and supposed to act as public trustees…Our Prime Minister by calling himself Chowkidar is again emphasizing the value of public trust in public life”.

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On March 7, Khattar directed the Sports Department to issue the notice to the three based on the findings of the probe.

As per the records, an ‘excess award money’ of Rs 43 lakh was given to Gauri Sheoran while Vishwajeet Singh received Rs 17 lakh during 2013-16 when their father Jagdeep Singh was Director of Sports.

Jagdeep Singh, on the other hand, denied the probe’s findings.

He told The Indian Express that he will submit his reply, adding, “My daughter has won 24 international medals and participated in 33 international championships. Recently, she received an award in World University championship. She has 85 national medals. My son has 12 international and 50 national medals. They are the pride of the nation. How can anybody wrongly claim the state government’s money? Not only my children, but I can assure that not even a single sportsperson in Haryana has been wrongly awarded any money”.

The probe has found that the Bhim awards were wrongly accorded to both Sheoran and Singh.

Bhim Awards

As per norms, there is a requirement of minimum of 50 points in order to be eligible to receive this award. It was revealed in the investigation that although the scoring sheet showed Gauri Sheoran earning 84 points in the Team category, her Bhim Award score was 37 points, according the approved scoring norms. In the case of his son, Vishwajeet Singh, his score sheet tells that he scored 60 points in Team category, whereas his score stood at 18 points.

The probe also disclosed that Bhim “application forms of Vishwajeet Singh and Gauri Sheoran” were “reported missing from official records”.

The probe report, also added, “The modus operandi adopted by Jagdeep Singh was to obtain recommendations of a Committee consisting of subordinate officials of the Directorate without bringing to the notice of the Government at any stage while obtaining approvals that certain events and tournaments were not eligible for cash awards. There are cases, where more than one cash award were claimed for the same performance.”

Jagdeep Singh also spoke on Bhim awards given to his children, “The Director alone is not competent to give the Bhim award. There are numerous committees at multiple levels including district and headquarters comprising senior officers and coaches that approve it. Moreover, when Bhim awards were given to my children, I withdrew from that committee and was not part of it. There is no misappropriation on our part”.

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