The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has indicted the principal of Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur, for his role in the recruitment scam in which better-qualified candidates were left out for about 35 teaching and non-teaching posts three years ago.
After an investigation that took more than 10 months, the VB had sent the probe findings in the last week of April to the principal secretary, technical education, seeking the nod for action against Dyal Chand, principal of the government-aided college.
The VB is awaiting the technical education department’s directions about whether the government would initiate action against the principal or the bureau would be allowed to register a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
On Tuesday, the case file was moved from the principal secretary’s office to the directorate of technical education, seeking “comments of the director, technical education, within 15 days for the required necessary action.”
The scam pertains to interviews which were conducted in Bathinda (October 2008) and Gurdaspur (January 2009) to fill college posts.
Two of the non-teaching staffers appointed during the recruitment drive, laboratory attendant Harbhupinder Singh and storekeeper Mandeep Kaur, have already lost their jobs for submitting fake certificates.
While Mandeep was asked to resign after an inquiry revealed that she submitted fake experience certificates, Harbhupinder was sacked.
As per the VB probe report, the selected candidates had lower academic qualifications than those left out but were given more marks in the interview and ‘short talk’.
Only one of the 12 posts reserved for the SC/ST category was filled during the interviews. There was a common note for every rejection: “The committee did not recommend any candidate for appointment.” Only in one instance did the committee cite ‘poor performance’ for the rejection.
Among the rejected candidates was MSc gold medallist Pallavi Mahajan, who had applied for the post of lecturer in applied mathematics.
The first interview for the post was conducted on October 22, 2008. Nearly three months later, Pallavi was called for a second round of interview on the college premises in Gurdaspur. Finally, she was rejected in favour of Rishi Tuli on the basis of interview and ‘short talk’.
A senior official of the technical education department revealed on the condition of anonymity that the file was still ‘on the shelf’ and had never been forwarded to the present minister concerned.
College principal Dyal Chand is facing an inquiry for allegedly tampering with his own ACR (annual confidential report).
The directorate, technical education, had prepared a draft chargesheet in May 2009, but then technical education minister Swarna Ram halted the move on May 27, 2009, as per documents obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
During Dyal Chand’s earlier tenure as the college principal (August 2004 to April 2005), 14 of the 17 appointees were terminated after their appointment was found illegal, according to documents procured under the RTI Act, on the basis of which a complaint was lodged with the VB last year.