The CBI on Monday carried out searches at 22 locations in three states after registering a case in connection with alleged irregularities in the distribution of scholarships worth Rs 250 crore to disadvantaged students by the Himachal Pradesh government from 2013 to 2017, officials said.
The move comes six days before all the four parliamentary constituencies in Himachal Pradesh go to the polls.
The searches were conducted at 22 educational institutions in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, sources said. Teams of CBI officials raided the premises of institutions in Una, Karnal, Mohali, Nawanshahr, Ambala, Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan, Bilaspur, Chamba, Gurdaspur, Kangra among others.
But since some institutes outside the state were allegedly found to be involved in the scam, the state government had requested the Centre for CBI probe into the case.
An official said the Himachal Pradesh government had forwarded the case to CBI as several discrepancies were found in the distribution of funds to students.
These educational institutions allegedly received pre-matriculation and post- matriculation scholarship from the government but all the funds were not received by the beneficiaries belonging to scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, other backward classes (OBC) and minority communities, CBI has alleged.
Nearly 2.38 lakh students from Himachal Pradesh register for scholarships every year and after cross-checking their record since 2013-14, the entire scam was established.