Probe panel faults deputy registrar for depositing Rs 142 cr in Yes Bank.

The University of Mumbai on Tuesday sent deputy registrar Rajendra Ambawade on forced leave and also issued him a show-cause notice following the recommendations of the factfinding committee probing the controversial deposit of Rs 142 crore of varsity funds in Yes Bank just days before the private bank went aground.

The University had conferred the best employee award to Ambawade in July, despite adverse interim findings of the panel in April.

“We have sent Ambawade on forced leave pending inquiry and also issued him a show-cause in the Yes Bank deposit matter. Further, we have sent a showcause notice to the finance and accounts officer,” a university official said. However, there is no decision on whether the varsity would be revoking his award.

The varsity deposited Rs 142 crore in Yes Bank in three instalments in February. At the senate’s budget meeting in March, members criticised the decision of parking varsity’s money in the beleaguered bank and sought an inquiry alleging misappropriation of funds. Following the furore in the senate, Vice Chancellor Suhas Pednekar constituted a five-member committee headed by Sanjay Shete to probe the decision of depositing funds in the bank. The panel tabled its final report in the senate meeting held on Tuesday four months after it had submitted its interim report in April.

Mirror has a copy of the final report which recommends Ambawade’s suspension. Citing gross procedural violation, the panel noted that Ambawade overstepped his authority and did not seek the requisite sanction from higher officials before deciding to deposit the funds in Yes Bank.

“Deputy Registrar Accounts (Ambawade) has over-performed his duty and wilfully assumed, exercised powers which were not delegated to the post he is holding. Not only did he assume powers of finance and accounts officer, but also acted as an alternative to all competent authorities in making decisions about investments of university funds,” the report states.

The panel also faulted the lack of coordination between finance and accounts section. Members recommended that henceforth all fixed deposits of the varsity will be put in a nationalised bank after inviting quotations from banks.

“We have tabled the final report as the university refused to recognise our interim report. Instead of taking action against the official, they have him an award,” remarked panel and senate member Sudhakar Tamboli.

In July, the committee members wrote to Pednekar objecting to the best employee award.

Mirror reached out to Ambawade for comment but he did not respond.

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