The President has asked the human resource development ministry for a prompt report explaining why a probe she ordered into allegations of corruption against Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor PK Abdul Azis was dragging.
President Pratibha Patil is unhappy that repeated delays and alleged lack of cooperation by AMU had made a member of the enquiry panel request that he be relieved from the panel, sources privy to the development told HT.
Justice AN Divecha, retired judge of the Gujarat high court and former chairman of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, has asked the HRD ministry to relieve him from the probe panel, as was reported first by HT on December 10.
The presidential intervention comes even as minorities affairs minister Salman Khurshid wrote to her on Monday, complaining about vice chancellor Azis and his alleged corruption, seeking prompt action. Nine other MPs also met the President, and asked her to help "save AMU."
Union minister Farooq Abdullah and Rajya Sabha MP Mohammed Adeeb also met the President on Saturday to relay their concerns over the circumstances that led to the judge's request to be relieved from the probe.
Justice Divecha's complaint to the HRD ministry followed a instance of AMU getting a hearing of the probe panel postponed by misleading panel members and other stakeholders. AMU first told Justice Divecha that a meeting scheduled for December 4-6 stood postponed, and then told the other panel member — former J&K high court Chief Justice BA Khan — that Divecha had opted out of the hearing which was held as scheduled. Divecha's absence made the hearing postponement a fait accompli.
"The President is particularly keen to know the viewpoint of panel members," said a source.