The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, was alerted in 2007 about the fake institute running from its campus using the IIT brand but did not approach the police.
Three weeks after HT first exposed the scam on October 19, IIT Kharagpur has admitted it knew about the fraud institute in 2007. The admission comes even as the police are investigating why the IIT decided against filing a criminal case in 2007 — a move that would have rescued the brand from being sullied further.
Police action in 2007 would also have saved more students from being duped by the fake Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE). Evidence that the IIT knew in 2007 of the scam but chose not to inform the police represents the first direct link between the fraud and administration at the time, police sources said.
The IIT has till now claimed it was not aware of the scam operating from its campus under the leadership of its senior professor Amit Kumar Ghosh. After the alert, the IIT quietly withdrew official quarters it had allotted in 2004 to the institute, but did not inform the police.
“I was not here at the time but the IIT was alerted in 2007 by the President’s Secretariat after they came to know that forged documents in their name were being used by the fake institute,” IIT Kharagpur Director Damodar Acharya said. He did not comment on why the IIT did not inform the police.
IIT has also admitted it knew of the fake institute in an official statement ironically aimed at “clearing IIT’s position”. The role of Acharya’s predecessor Shishir Dube, who was in charge in 2007, is now under scrutiny, investigators said. “We are probing why the administration then chose not to approach us,” a police official said.
Dube was named by Ghosh in the scam but had denied any knowledge of IEE. Documents available with the police however establish that official quarters were allotted and withdrawn during Dube’s tenure.
Sources close to Dube say he did not know at the time when he evicted the fake institute that it was misusing the IIT brand.