The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has made four arrests in connection with a significant scholarship scam amounting to Rs 200 crore, targeting SC, ST, and OBC students in Himachal Pradesh. Among those apprehended under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are Rajdeep Josan and Krishan Kumar, associated with the ASAMS education group, Hitesh Gandhi, the vice chairman of KC group of institutions in Pandoga, and Arvind Rajta, a former official from the Himachal Pradesh Directorate of Higher Education’s scholarship branch.
These individuals have been remanded to ED custody for five days by a special PMLA court in Shimla. The ED’s investigation alleges that Josan and Kumar, operating through ASAMS education group and skill development society, fraudulently obtained scholarships intended for SC, ST, and OBC students by submitting falsified documents.
Similarly, the KC group of institutions, under the leadership of Gandhi, is accused of making counterfeit scholarship claims, with Rajta verifying these false applications. Furthermore, Gandhi is alleged to have redirected the scholarship funds meant for students into the bank accounts of the KC group of institutions.
The ED’s inquiry, conducted under the provisions of the PMLA, is based on a CBI FIR that implicates officials from the Himachal Pradesh education department, private institutions, and banks in the extensive misappropriation of over Rs 200 crore in scholarship funds.
In the course of their investigation, the ED conducted raids on August 29 at 24 locations across Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Delhi. During these operations, the agency seized unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 75 lakh and froze Rs 2.55 crore in various bank accounts.