GUJRAT: A three-member inquiry committee of the University of Gujrat has traced embezzlement of around Rs3 million in the salaries of daily-wage staff of the varsity’s printing press, besides theft of paper.
The acting vice chancellor of the UoG Prof Dr Faheem Malik had ordered the inquiry in response to a formal complaint lodged by a Deputy Registrar Sajid Tarrar after he was assigned the charge of varsity’s printing press some two months ago.
Mr Tarrar had leveled serious allegations of corruption, embezzlement and other irregularities against the varsity’s press, media and publications director Sheikh Abdul Rasheed who had earlier held the charge of printing press manager, and his deputy Mr Irfan.
The inquiry committee comprised Dean Dr Fareeshullah (convener), Nawaz Sharif Medical College (NSMC) Principal Prof Dr Ateeq and Deputy Registrar Bakht Nawaz.
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Well-placed sources in the UoG told Dawn that the committee had recorded the statements of the daily-wage staff and other relevant officials as well as the director media and deputy manager of the printing press.
In the light of the statements, the sources said, the committee concluded that bogus accounts had been opened in a branch of a private bank located on the UoG’s Hafiz Hayat Campus and transactions and withdrawals were made by a senior officer of the varsity through ATM cards issued in the names of the daily-wage employees.
They said these employees told the committee that they were paid only a meager sum from the amount withdrawn in their name, whereas the varsity’s concerned head showed withdrawal of around Rs3.5 million during a certain period in 2018. The staff had not been paid more than Rs300,000 out of that amount, the sources added.
According to the sources, an officer told the committee that the embezzled amount had actually been spent on building a “better image” of the UoG through the media during the tenure of former VC Dr Ziaul Qayyum who was
currently serving as Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Islamabad, vice chancellor.
A senior UoG officer said that leveling allegations against each other through applications had become a routine at the senior level of the varsity administration and faculty. He added that such mudslinging was adversely affecting the varsity’s performance and image in general which should be checked by the higher education department as well as the varsity chancellor.
The varsity’s directorate of media has been rendered dysfunctional after the acting VC handed over its functions to other sections. The charge of varsity spokesman has been given to Registrar Dr Tahir Aqeel. Media Director Mr Rasheed had been hold the charge since the establishment of the varsity in 2006.
Registrar Dr Tahir told Dawn that the inquiry committee had submitted its findings to the VC and he could not divulge into further details as the report would be presented before the syndicate that was yet to meet.
The committee report would be made public after the syndicate took a decision on it, he added.