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Maharashtra: FIR against education baron Maruti Navale in Pune for embezzlement of employees' provid

An FIR has been registered against Pune-based Sinhgad Institutes' founder Maruti Navale for alleged embezzlement of provident fund of employees worth more than Rs 70 lakh, police said on Wednesday.

A provident fund worth Rs 74,68,636 for more than 130 employees of a school in the Kondhwa area, run by the Sinhgad Institutes, was deducted from their salaries between October 2019 and June 2022, but only Rs 3,75,774 was deposited into the PF account, police said.

The remaining Rs 70,92,862 was not deposited into the PF account and was allegedly used for personal gain, as per the FIR (First Information Report).

Maruti Navale is associated with several educational institutions, and Singhad City School in Kondhwa is one of them. During the period in question, more than 12 employees of the school had their PF contributions, totaling lakhs of rupees, allegedly diverted by Navale for personal use, reports said.

Rahul Eknath Kokate, a 51-year-old resident of Crimson Christ Society in Hadapsar, has lodged a complaint regarding this issue. Kokate, employed in the Provident Fund Department, has accused the founder of Sinhagad City School, Navale, in the matter. Allegedly, the provident fund deductions were made from the salaries of approximately 116 school employees from October 2019 to June 2022, amounting to a total deduction of ₹74,68,636. Shockingly, only ₹3,75,774 of this sum was actually deposited into the provident fund.

Kokate contends that Navale misappropriated the remaining ₹70,92,862 for personal gain without fulfilling the intended purpose of depositing it into the provident fund accounts of the employees. Consequently, a complaint has been formally filed in court, leading to the registration of a case by the Kondhwa police in connection with this alleged betrayal of the employees' trust.

"An official from the Provident Fund Office lodged a complaint against Maruti Navale with Kondhwa police station. We have registered a case under sections 406 and 409 of the Indian Penal Code for criminal breach of trust and relevant sections of the Provident Funds Act. An investigation is underway," a Kondhwa police station officer said.

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