Former MP from Gujarat and former chairman of the Panchmahal Dairy, Bhupendrasinh Solanki, and eight of his associates were booked on Friday by Godhra police for allegedly siphoning off over Rs 2 crore from the dairy between 2008 and 2010 by forging bills and tally sheets.
Solanki, a member of the BJP, was an MP of the 14th Lok Sabha from Godhra.
Panchmahal Dairy procures raw milk from dairy farmers, processes it into dairy products for sale in the market.
Two separate offences were registered by the complainant, Deputy Manager of the dairy in Godhra, Chirag Patel, against nine accused under the same charges for two financial years, 2008-09 and 2009-2010. According to the audit report and the subsequent FIR filed,
Rs 1,49,42,167 was siphoned off between April 2008 and March 2009 and Rs 91,52,623 was siphoned off between April 2009 and March 2010.
Apart from Solanki, who was associated with the dairy from 1994 to 2009, the other accused have been identified as former Managing Director of Panchmahal Dairy RS Patel, former Managing Director of its marketing division Manharlal Dave Deputy Manager of the marketing division Rajendrakumar Mehta, Senior Assistant of the marketing division Kesharisinh Javad and four other employees of the marketing division, Girish B Patel, Girish R Patel, Pushkarsinh Chauhan and Nagendrasinh Parmar.
The discrepancies came to light during a special audit conducted in 2018. The issue was first taken up with the Board of Directors on April 21, 2018 and after a final audit report and subsequent discussions, the matter was reported to the police. The special auditor had first noticed discrepancies in the balance when he tabulated and tallied the records of the marketing department and the entries of entry and exit at the main gate.
The FIR stated that the four employees of the marketing division were responsible for loading the consignment on to the truck, preparing a truck-sheet and gate pass and providing clearance for the exit of the vehicle. They were also responsible for preparing a final datasheet of the consignment sent, to provide to the buyers and receive subsequent payments.
According to the FIR filed, they purposely lost the trucksheets and made revised sheets after the payment was completed with lesser number of milk/buttermilk packets released into the market from the diary. The auditor also observed that the amount credited to the official bank account of the dairy did not correspond to the amount mentioned in the data sheet as a few entries were missing.
The senior officials were booked as they were directly responsible for swindling the money and for signing off and clearing the said documents.
All the accused have been booked under IPC sections 408 (Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant), 465 (Punishment for forgery.), 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document), 477 (a) (Falsification of accounts), 120 (B) (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), 114 (Abettor present when offence is committed) and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender.).
The police is yet to make any arrests. “The investigation is still underway. We have to first go through all the documents and the audit report. We can only make arrests after we have collected enough evidence,” investigation officer BR Gohil said.