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Manorama Devi and her associates managed to erect an empire only after managing audits and auditors, the basic concept of Srijan Mahila Vikash Sahayog Samity came to light in the awake of ongoing investigation.
During the investigation it is come to light that gross violations of basic ethics of audits became a regular feature for Srijan NGO. Officials concerned from office of auditor, district cooperative office, Bhagalpur and Bihar state cooperative department have started searching out the concerned auditors who earlier had conducted Srijan’s audits.
The investigating agencies pointed out that such audit reports were mostly fakes, Srijan not only managed to get huge loans from the nationalized banks but also started operating its illegal bank, leading to this mega scam.
According to sources, concerned cooperative officials from Bhagalpur and Patna have started searching out such auditors and the concerned audit farms who earlier conducted the audit of Srijan NGO. “We have to concentrate at the branch office of Institute of Chattered Accounts of India, a Delhi based body of the chattered accounts and the chatter account firms, Jagat trade center at Patna. We also requesting the concern offices to help us to find out such concerned chattered accounts and the firms who earlier conducted audit reports of Srijan NGO,” said an officer of the department.
The sources further revealed that during investigation, major bungling and irregularities were sniffed by the concerned financial experts on the balance sheet of Srijan NGO on the financial year 2015-16 which subsequently audited by one chattered account, Purnandu Kumar for Patna based A K Mishra and Associates , a chattered account consultancy. SIT earlier has recovered the documents during raids in the offices of the Srijan NGO. “We have doubted the fishy claims in that balance sheet and referred it to local audit office of the district cooperative department,” the sources said.
It further disclosed that when the investigation team try to contact with the auditor, Purnandu Kumar, he was found missing from Bhagalpur. Kumar who is also wanted by the SIT, reportedly failed to point out huge transaction, operating bank, and other irregularities during his audit for the Srijan NGO.
Audit reports of Srijan NGO is considered not only as a vital clue in the entire scam but also said as the epicenter of the entire racket played by the said NGO. District cooperative department is also under the scanner as the department has the responsibility to check the audit of the said NGO time to time. But its failure has ultimately helped the NGO to flourish its illegal activities like embezzlement
of huge governmental money in the tunes of crores.
However, the audit wing of the cooperative department excuses with several points like since it only deals with the audits of PACS (primary agriculture cooperative society), Bapar Mandal and credit societies mainly, so it has no responsibility to look after the audit of NGOs like Srijan with minimum financial transaction (in principal) which was also registered with the Bihar state cooperative department.
But since Srijan was also registered with the cooperative department, it is the responsibility of this audit wing to audit Srijan NGO, observers pointed out. “Earlier we time to time gave Srijan NGO for audit, even we published notice for that in local newspapers,” said an officer in the department.
“Actually Satish Kumar Jha who was the auditor in the department, had his deep nexus with Srijan NGO, managed to suppress such audits. Even after his retirement he joined to the NGO and managed to influence the cooperative department,” the sources alleged. Satish Jha was arrested recently and sent to jail in the Srijan scam.
Observers however also blamed the pattern of audit which used to conduct by the Srijan NGO. “The audit done by the NGO was conducted privately while as per the norms the audit of such a body registered with state cooperative department should be done by government appoint auditor/audit agency,” they pointed out. But as the per the sources, during the tenure of the than registered, Bihar state cooperative department, Amitav Verma (whose nexus has been exposed in the investigation) had issued a panel of auditors/audit agencies and Srijan NGO picked up the auditors concerned with its choice.
However, the audit report on which basis the Srijan NGO earlier in many occasion ventured different activities with banks like taking huge loans, left many questions unanswered. “The balance sheet attached in the audit report of March 31, 2016 clearly indicating that Srijan was operating a bank and also there are several instances which could not be over looked. Over looking such gross irregularities by the concerned Chattered Account who subsequently signed on the final audit report is indeed a serious criminal offence,” pointed out a local CA here. Even interestingly, how the concerned income tax officer who earlier assessed filing of income tax returns of the Srijan NGO did not raised any objection while observing such fishy balance sheet of an organization?, pointed out observers here.
Chief secretary, Bihar in his letter (5819/17) to all district magistrates in Bihar recently instructed all department concerned not to operate (deposit & withdrawal) amounts from accounts without any valid reason. Interestingly, the chief secretary, mentioned the previous order of the finance department (130/finance/ 9-1-2001) in the letter. “It clearly indicates when the such order has been valid since 2001, why such transaction frequently took place between Srijan and the district cooperative department here?” the observers raised the question.
Interestingly, Srijan had the opportunity to play safe game with the active patronage of Pankaj Jha, the than district cooperative officer who recently arrested by the SIT from Supoul where he is in the same capacity. Jha reportedly managed all such illegal affairs of Srijan in addition to Satish Jha.