Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, registrar TK Ghoshal sanctioned an illegal IIT identity card for one of the masterminds of a fake institute that operated from the premier engineering school using the ID card.
Police investigators called the discovery "the strongest evidence" of the involvement of current, senior IIT Kharagpur officials in the scam first exposed by HT on October 19.
IIT officials, including Ghoshal, have repeatedly claimed they had no link to the scam.
Police investigators have found Ghoshal's signature on an ID card issued by the IIT for JK Tewari, secretary of the fraudulent Institute of Electrical Engineers.
The ID card was created by Ghoshal when he was deputy registrar, and is illegal because the IIT identity badge is given only to students and employees, police sources said. The ID card falsely mentions Tewari as an IIT employee.
"This is the strongest and clearest evidence we have that contrary to claims, IIT administration officials did not just know about the fake institute but were likely party to its prospering," a senior investigator said.
Ghoshal, whose appointment as registrar is also under the Central Vigilance Commission's scanner, is ironically the administrator who filed an FIR on behalf of the IIT against senior institute professor Amit Kumar Ghosh after he was exposed as a mastermind of the scam.
The FIR was showcased by the IIT as an indicator of its action against those guilty of the scam, in which the IEE - led by Ghosh and other IIT professors - duped poor students into joining courses with no legitimacy.