Santiniketan, Aug. 26: Visva-Bharati has formed a three-member team to probe alleged financial irregularities in its Agro-economic Research Centre.
The registrar of the varsity has asked the members to submit its report to the vice-chancellor at the earliest.
The complaints of irregularities were brought during the tenure of director Debashis Sarkar, who was in office for two years from March 31, 2011. Now, he is a teacher in the agriculture department of the university.
Varsity sources said the amount of financial irregularities could be around Rs 25 lakhs. “The complaints regarding the irregularities came from members of the centre,” a varsity official said.
“The probe committee was formed (on August 20) following a directive from the Union agriculture ministry. We will not tolerate any kind of irregularity in Visva-Bharati,” said, Sushanta Duttagupta, the vice-chancellor.
Varsity sources informed that during 2011-2012, more than a crore of rupees was sanctioned as grant by the Union agriculture ministry to the varsity’s Agro-economic Research Centre.
Sources said after the centre’s present director, Soumya Chakrabarti, joined in the post, he found the irregularities.
“The matter of irregularities was first discovered when a bill of around Rs 30,000 reached him for clearing for developing a web page of the centre. It was found that there was no such web page. So, the bill was not passed,” an official said.
“It was also found that huge amount of money had been spent on various projects which were non-existent,” the official added.
Contacted, Sarkar said, “Actually, I had no authority to spend money. The money spent was sanctioned by the registrar through the accounts department. No irregularity was found during audit. I have heard about the enquiry committee. I don’t want to make any further comment.”