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Haryana

VB sitting tight over inquiry ordered by Hry govt against former MDU V-C in June

December 07, 2019 05:28 AM

COURTESY HT DEC 7
Pawan Sharma

pawan.sharma@hindustantimes.com

Chandigarh : Nearly six months after it directed the state Vigilance Bureau (VB) to hold inquiry against former vice chancellor (V-C) of Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), Haryana government is yet to receive the report despite repeated reminders.

During its previous term, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led state BJP government had appointed 54-year-old professor BK Punia as V-C of the MDU, Rohtak, in January 2016.

After completing three-year term, Punia had demitted the office in January this year and rejoined at Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar.

According to official documents, then additional chief secretary (ACS- higher education) Anil Kumar had set the ball rolling on May 10 to initiate the VB inquiry into acts of omissions and commissions against Punia.

“The inquiry was registered…the final report is awaited,” VB director general KP Singh said over telephone.

Then education minister Ram Bilas Sharma had given nod for VB inquiry against Punia on May 14. Later, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar also gave approval on the file in which the ACS (higher education) Kumar had recommend to register First Information Report (FIR), if needed, against Punia following the VB inquiry.

“VCs are public servants and they are duty-bound to follow rules and regulations in letter and spirit. Any action on their part with malafide and in violation of statutory provision of acts, rules etc make them liable. In the name of autonomous status given to universities for their smooth functioning does not bestow any immunity on them and in this particular case,” then ACS (higher education) Kumar had written in his one-page note.

“In the present matter, besides various violations, the V-C has even diluted the minimum eligibility conditions for appointment in computer science to favour a certain candidate,” the note reads further. 

As per official records, the ACS (higher education) dispatched the first letter on June 18 to ACS (vigilance department) requesting for constitution of inquiry.

The letter stated that the “state government had allowed to conduct a vigilance inquiry” against the former V-C for violating provision of the act, statutes, ordinances as well as other acts of omission and commission. The letter specifically requested to conduct the vigilance inquiry on immediate basis.

Again on July 22, the higher education department had sent a reminder to the vigilance department. “Vide…letter you were requested to conduct a vigilance inquiry in the subject cited…and send the report immediately. But, this office hasn’t received the inquiry report from your department yet,” the higher education department’s second letter stated, again requesting to send the inquiry report “immediately” so that necessary action could be taken. As per the official records, the VB is yet to send the report despite two reminders.

The office of the ACS (higher education) dispatched the third letter on October 7, seeking the inquiry report in question. While reminding the vigilance department about June 18 and July 22 letters, the Panchkula-based higher education department’s office “again requested” the vigilance department to send the report.

Not just this, even the chief secretary had sent a letter directly to the VB chief on July 12, requesting to hold the inquiry and submit the report immediately “along with comments.”

Asked when the VB is likely to complete the inquiry and at what stage the matter is pending, VB chief KP Singh declined a direct comment and said, “We will submit the report to the government.”

 
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