Hyderabad: Investigations into the alleged fraud reported at the Hyderabad cyber crime police station has revealed that the details of several pensioners enrolled with the state government are fake.
Some 255 persons were added to the government records without basic scrutiny of their identity papers, including Aadhaar cards.
The police found an Aadhaar card in a woman’s name having the photograph of a teenage boy, and the person was approved as eligible for the pension and the money disbursed.
About 10 days ago, a government official from the revenue department reported a suspected fraud in pensioners’ identities in the old city area of Hyderabad. Bank accounts and Aadhaar card details of some people in Charminar mandal had been modified to show they were eligible for pensions when they were not. It was initially assumed that there was some mistake which could be corrected but the investigation revealed that some pensioner details were added in the month of May, June and July this year by logging into official accounts of the state government, and making changes in the bank account and other details.
There are 9,000 pensioners in Charminar mandal, and details of 255 others were modified and new details added to make it appear like they were eligible for the pension.
An official from the city police on condition of anonymity said that the investigation into the alleged fraud has revealed that the details of the new pensioners were uploaded unauthorisedly and these new people drew the pension.
"When the modified details were checked in one case, it was found that the name of the beneficiary indicated a woman, but the photograph provided in the identification proof was that of a child, who would be at least 15 years old," said the official.
In another instance, a middle-aged man was withdrawing pension in the name of an old person. On enquiry it turned out that the beneficiary had passed away, but the pension was still being deposited into his account and the person withdrawing it was his son.
"People were getting pension under weavers quota, and a woman was receiving pension because her details showed she was a widow, but her husband was very much alive," said the official. Details of several others are still to be verified and only then will the exact number of fraudulent persons claiming pension be known.
Responding to a query, the official said: "The investigation is still underway to find out who has uploaded the details of the new beneficiaries by making modifications to the existing pensioners, and soon we will come to a conclusion."
In April this year the Chief Minister announced increase in pensions under the Aasara scheme. Pensions are provided to the elderly, the disabled, weavers, toddy tappers, people with HIV, widows, filaria patients, beedi workers and single-women.
The pension was doubled to Rs 2,016 from Rs 1,000, and for the disabled it was enhanced to Rs 3,016 from Rs 1,500.
There are currently about 39,41,976 beneficiaries under the Aasara scheme in the state....