Long list of wrongs behind Mizoram governor Qureshi’s ouster

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 30, 2015 01:02 IST

Dismissed Mizoram governor Aziz Qureshi got the sack over serious allegations of impropriety and irregularities committed during his previous gubernatorial assignment in Uttarakhand from May 15, 2012 to January 7, 2015.

These include wilful misuse of the state aircraft, wrongdoing at the Nainital Golf Club, and mischief in key appointments. When contacted by the Hindustan Times for comments on the alleged wrongdoing, Qureshi said: “All these charges are absolutely baseless... all bogus. My appeal is already pending in the Supreme Court in which I have full faith. I don’t want to comment any further.”

The government’s compilation of alleged irregularities committed by Qureshi, however, lists charges that can only be described as grave.

Several cases have come to notice of the Centre where the Uttarakhand state plane was not just used by the governor but also by others declared to be family members. Sometimes even this bare formality was not followed, and names were directly included in the flight manifest. The requisitions for the state plane had been officially sent from the Raj Bhawan, except on two occasions for which the governor’s residence has no records. On these occasions, people other than Qureshi travelled.

He has also been accused of amending the November 9, 2000 rules of Uttarakhand Raj Bhawan Golf Club Nainital to open the exclusive heritage property to a private club of Nainital being run on commercial lines. The Boat Club House, Nainital was affiliated to the Raj Bhawan Golf Club with an arrangement of reciprocal membership. The Boat House Club is also affiliated to several other clubs in the country.

This decision was taken without taking the executive committee into confidence. According to government report on Qureshi, two days before he left Raj Bhawan, Dehradun, orders were issued to induct two persons — Naseem Khan and Sajid Dehlvi — in the executive committee of the Golf Club. The orders were contrary to the rules and never implemented.

The Union government report also charges Qureshi with alleged impropriety in the appointment of the vice-chancellor for the Uttarakhand University of Horticulture and Forestry.

Prof Mathew Prasad was appointed V-C for three years on August 17, 2011 but before the completion of his term was given an extension of six months (from July 15, 2014) pending appointment of a new V-C. The search committee had prepared a panel which included the name of Prasad. He was appointed V-C again on January 2, 2015 after Qureshi’s reassignment as Mizoram governor was announced by the President on December 30, 2014.

Finally, Prof SP Mishra was appointed as V-C of Uttarakhand Ayurvedic University on January 7, 2015 despite Qureshi’s orders to move to Mizoram on December 30, 2014. Qureshi’s successor KK Paul reached Dehradun on January 7 and was sworn in a day later. The appointment of Prof Mishra, the report says, was irregular as the upper age for V-C was 65 years, which he has attained on July 14, 2014. In violation and hurry, Prof Mishra was given a term of another three years from January 7, 2015 by Qureshi in capacity as chancellor. “Prof Mishra was appointed V-C on January 17, 2011 for three years but was given another year extension upto January 17, 2015 knowing fully well that the incumbent would cross the age of 65 in July 2014,” the report says.

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