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AMU probe judge wants to quit

delhi Updated: Dec 11, 2010 00:46 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi
Charu Sudan Kasturi
Hindustan Times
Charu Sudan Kasturi

A high court judge appointed by the President to probe corruption allegations against Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) vice chancellor PK Abdul Azis wants to quit after AMU decided on its own to adjourn a hearing and then misled stakeholders.

An upset Justice AN Divecha has asked the human resource development ministry (HRD) to relieve him from the two-member probe panel after he was misled into not attending a December 4-6 hearing, sources privy to the development have told Hindustan Times .

In his complaint to the ministry, Justice Divecha has expressed his unhappiness over the manner in which probe is proceeding.

The HRD ministry has asked AMU for an explanation on the episode, which centres on how the university - and not the probe panel - decided that the hearing would be adjourned. The probe, which was originally scheduled to wind up by March, has now been given a deadline of December 31.

The President is understood to be unhappy about the delays. The probe panel had called a hearing on December 4-6 here.

Though the AMU counsel Ejaz Maqbool sought an adjournment, the two judges decided to take a call on the plea on December 4, sources said.

On December 1, AMU registrar VK Abdul Jaleel wrote to Ahmedabad-based Justice Divecha stating that his tickets for attending the hearing had been cancelled, suggesting that the hearing had been cancelled.

But the hearing took place on December 4 under Justice Khan, and AMU's Maqbool claimed Justice Divecha had told him he did not feel the need to attend the hearing as it was "only for adjournment," according to Khursheed Ahmed Khan, one of the petitioners and an AMU executive council member.

The hearing was adjourned as a fait accompli in the absence of Justice Divecha, who was vehemently denied any conversation with Maqbool where he even indicated either that the hearing would be adjourned or that he did not wish to attend.

AMU registrar Jaleel, when contacted by Hindustan Times , said he had cancelled Divecha's tickets based on Maqbool's assurance that Justice Divecha was not keen on attending the December 4 meeting.