Some uber rich and elite families in Delhi are fudging income certificates to masquerade as economically weaker sections (EWS) for admitting their kids to top schools. In the bargain, poor children are robbed of their right to study in these schools.
Some of these high and mighty people, who own high-end cars like a Jaguar, employ a well-oiled machinery of touts and school staff to usurp the quota fixed for EWS children.
An exclusive India Today TV investigation reveals that this racket is being run by middlemen who project the super rich as people earning less than Rs 1 lakh a year by obtaining forged income certificates from the local SDM’s office. The catch is that for admissions to nursery classes, 25 per cent of seats in Delhi’s schools have been reserved for children of poor parents who earn less than Rs 1 lakh annually. So the moneyed parents pay anything from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh to the touts for the guarantee of an EWS seat which their child doesn’t deserve at all.
In several cases that have come to light, touts used highly unusual, though effective, ways to guarantee admissions for the payment they received. In a peculiar instance, they arranged for chits bearing the names of rich kids to be kept in a refrigerator for a significant period. The aim was to avoid any suspicion in a seemingly blind draw of lots by the school managements while making it easy to identify by touch which of the chits needed to be picked up.
Incidentally, while the police have busted only one such racket at Pitampura’s Bal Bharti School, the mastermind of the scam is still at large. The police have managed to arrest four members of the gang. As per India Today TV’s investigation, the lynchpin of the scam is a woman, who has been identified as Puneeta. She is said to be charging anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh from well to-do parents for securing admission for their kids under the EWS quota.
How it works
The modus operandi was extremely simple: She obtained fake income certificates on fake addresses and later, after securing an admission, would get the name changed to the boy’s whose parents had paid up, thus legitimising the scam. As per available information, police have registered around 300 such cases.
In one such FIR, the crime branch mentions to have found that two certificates used to get admission into two schools – Lancers Convent and GD Goenka Public School, both in Rohini – carried the same name as applicant and his father and had been procured for the admission of someone named Khushi. The names of the ward were later changed to Rhythm and Cheshna, respectively. The applicants’ addresses were different, but the certificates were issued for admission in academic year 2014-15.
The crime branch also found that she had used a certificate for more than one fake admission.