A judicial probe into allegations of corruption against Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor PK Abdul Azis is almost certain to miss a strict deadline set by the government and an upset President, raising demands for a CBI enquiry instead.
The probe panel has adjourned a crucial January 14-16 hearing it had called to finalise its findings before the January 31 deadline set by President Pratibha Patil and the human resource development ministry.
Failure to meet the deadline will represent the seventh time that the probe panel - headed by justice BA Khan and justice AN Divecha - has been unable to complete its task according to the timeline it has been given. Justice Divecha and the petitioners against Azis have repeatedly argued that the delay is a result of the university's attempts at stalling progress of the panel.
As was first reported by HT, justice Divecha even threatened to quit the panel, forcing HRD minister Kapil Sibal to personally intervene to diffuse tensions. AMU had lied to delay proceedings in the enquiry, justice Divecha had alleged.
"The university is clearly disinterested in the probe. The only way out is to dissolve the probe panel and hand over the enquiry to the CBI," former MP Waseem Ahmed, one of the principal petitioners against Azis, told HT .
The latest adjournment comes after justice Divecha injured himself and informed the HRD ministry and the university that he would not be able to attend the January 14-16 hearing. He however very clearly in his letter asked the government to allow justice Khan to carry on with the proceedings in his absence.
The university counsel Ejaz Maxbool however on Friday argued before justice Khan that the panel adjourn the hearing because of the absence of justice Divecha. The adjournment was granted.
The President first ordered a probe against Azis in early 2009. The original probe panel was dissolved amid differences between the members.