Inquiries by the state and Nagpur university have indicated that the university may have illegally appointed more than 500 staffers in the past decade, costing the state exchequer Rs. 300 crore in salaries.
The Hindustan Times had first exposed the scam in July 2009, following which multiple inquiries were ordered by the state and university into whether senior officers had tampered with the job reservation manuals since 1999, denying jobs to eligible
candidates from reserved categories while making illegal appointments.
PS Meena, principal secretary (social development co-ordination and inquiry officer) who probed the cases, has found, on the basis of the faulty manuals, that several appointments of senior teaching staff were illegal. Meena submitted his report to the state and the Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University late last month. Meena has asked the university to replace illegal candidates with legitimate ones. A copy of this report is with HT.
In a parallel inquiry, a retired high court justice, GG Lone, established that most of the job manuals were tampered with. Justice Lone submitted his report to Nagpur vice-chancellor VS Sapkal on January 6 after a 14-month probe. Justice Lone did not reveal the findings to HT, but termed the episode a ‘scam’. However, a top university officer, who has access to the report, confirmed Lone’s findings. He requested anonymity.
Sapkal, who took charge of the university barely a month ago, said appropriate action could be taken after studying the reports.
Secretary (higher and technical education) Mahesh Pathak said he would check the matter before making any comment. Minister in-charge, Rajesh Tope, could not be contacted. Tope had told the legislative council in 2009 that the job manuals were tampered with.
The accountant general had first recorded that more than 50 readers and professors were illegal and the government was made to pay Rs. 7.27 crore in salaries between 1999-2000 without any prior approval.
But when officials continued with the illegal appointments by fudging manuals – the procedure that keeps an update of reserved posts and maintains a record of seniority of existing employees – the government ordered senior GAD official SG Kedare, to investigate. He, too, found the manuals were tampered with.