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South Point School key official arrested on charges of siphoning off funds

February 9, 2024
Mita Mukherjee

Krishna Damani, the secretary-cum treasurer of South Point High School and South Point School was arrested allegedly for misappropriating school funds from outside his office in Dalhousie area in central Kolkata, on Thursday.

According to police Damani (54) a member of the board of trustees of South Point Education Society and the secretary and treasurer of the governing council, who is also the spokesperson of the school had allegedly floated companies in the names of his relatives and associates and siphoned off the funds from the school.

An amount of nearly 10 crores has been allegedly misappropriated by Damani, according to the police.

The police said preliminary investigations revealed that money from the school fund had been siphoned off through a company that provided logistics and manpower at higher than the market rates. The company was found to be owned by relatives of Damani.

He was booked under IPC sections that deal with falsification of accounts, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and breach of trust, sources said. Other than Damani, three other persons were named in the complaint. If found guilty, Damani can be sent to jail for10 years, the police said.

The South Point School established more than 70 years ago is one of the most sought after private English medium schools in Kolkata among parents and it has students enrollment of around 12,000 students in a single campus, which is said to be the highest in the city.

The school earlier was under the state boards but presently affiliated with the CBSE.

Officials in the school said that Damani’s arrest will not affect the day to day academic functioning of the institution and students too will not be affected. The investigation will also not have any impact on the ensuing CBSE examinations slated to begin on February 15.

The police said an internal probe was held to investigate the charges against Damani. Following this a written complaint was filed in February last year at Bankshall Court by a chartered accountant who is also a member of the trustees on behalf of Harsh Vardhan Lodha, the chairman of the MP Birla Group.

A statement issued by the MP Birla Group said that Damani was arrested “ in connection with a criminal complaint registered for defalcation of funds, falsification of documents and misuse of office for personal gains. These grave offences which appear to have been committed in collusion with others were unearthed through a threadbare investigation conducted by the MP Birla Group.”

The group in the statement said that it assured all stakeholders including students and staff members that the operations of the school will not be affected by the ongoing investigation.

A statement issued by South Point School & South Point High School run by South Point Education Society,  the governing council which is presided over by Justice Kalpesh S.Jhaveri (former Chief Justice of Orissa High Court) denied the allegations against Damani and said that the complaints brought against him were “frivolous and false.”

Also read: Kolkata: South Point School to develop its own nano satellite

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