A month after being convicted and sentenced in a 2009 bribery case, the registrar of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College of Engineering, Ferozepur, has still not been removed from the post by the technical education department, Punjab.
The Gurdaspur district court had convicted Inderpal Singh and sentenced him to one-year rigorous imprisonment on January 27. The case dates back to the period when Inderpal was posted as the registrar at Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur.
The board of governors (BOG) of the Gurdaspur college, including government officials, had met at the directorate of technical education here a week ago to take a call on Inderpal’s dismissal, but they put off the move “to the next meeting”. Reason: they are yet to decide whether he can still be given financial benefits under the ‘compulsory retirement’ clause of the Punjab Service Rules.
“He (Inderpal) will lose his job, but I think the BOG has still not decided on the procedure to be adopted as per the rules,” RK Verma, principal secretary, technical education, Punjab, said here.
The Gurdaspur college authorities have so far not even written to the principal of the Ferozepur college for Inderpal’s immediate removal from the registrar’s post, even as he has now got stay on his arrest from the Punjab and Haryana high court.
“I will issue the letter on Wednesday,” BOG chairman Dr RS Khandpur said, when asked why Inderpal was still continuing on the job a month after the court verdict.
Khandpur said the BOG was considering “all options available in the Punjab Service Rules”.
“There are three options: dismissal, removal from job, and compulsory retirement. We will see whether he can be removed under the compulsory retirement clause, but will ensure that he does not get retirement benefits,” Khandpur added.
Twists and turns
The Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) had arrested Inderpal red-handed at the Gurdaspur engineering college in October 2009 for accepting Rs 90,000 as bribe for regularising services of contractual employees of the college.
The trap was laid on a complaint by Rakesh Kumar, one of the contractual employees. Inderpal was released on bail a couple of months later. However, the Punjab government took more than three years to give due sanction to the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for his prosecution in the court.
The prosecution nod came at the fag-end of 2011 during Anil Joshi’s tenure as technical education minister. HT had reported in February 2011 how then technical education minister Swarna Ram held back the file in this regard. After Inderpal’s release on bail 57 days after his arrest, he was shifted to the directorate of technical education in Chandigarh, following the “revoking of his suspension, pending inquiry”. At the Chandigarh headquarters, he was allotted an independent office with the task of handling all files pertaining to degree colleges, as ordered by Swarna Ram.
Later, when Surjit Kumar Jyani replaced Swarna Ram as the technical education minister after the latter’s arrest in a corruption case, Jyani ordered a review of the case.
In an HT report dated July 21, 2011, Jyani had stated that Inderpal was found to be “a man of conduct” and it was his (minister’s) prerogative whether to give prosecution sanction or not. firstname.lastname@example.org