For 10 years, the state government has paid over Rs 300 crore as salary to over 500 people employed illegally with the Nagpur University.
Investigations by Hindustan Times, which has all relevant official records, have revealed that some officials of the Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University had been allegedly tampering with the job reservation manual since 1999, denying jobs to eligible candidates from reserved categories.
A local teacher, Sunil Kumar Mishra, filed a first information report with the Sitabuldi police on Thursday, accusing the university authorities and two government departments of delaying action despite being aware of the scam.
The Accountant General had first recorded that appointments of 58 readers and professors were illegal and the government was made to pay Rs 7.27 crore in salary between 1999-2000 without giving any prior approval.
Despite the Accountant General’s remarks, the suspected officials continued with the illegal appointments by fudging the roster — the procedure that keeps update of reserved posts and maintains a record of the seniority of existing employees. They did not send these rosters to the state government for approval.
Over 500 posts in the university and its affiliated colleges in eastern Vidarbha were filled in this manner.
A university official, requesting anonymity, said the scam has possibly cost the state exchequer over Rs 300 crore to pay salaries.
University Vice-Chancellor SN Pathan and the backward class officer, officers in Mantralaya’s Higher and Technical Education Department, director and joint-director of Higher and Technical Education and officials of the General Administration Department have been named in the FIR filed by Mishra.
Pathan was the director of Higher and Technical Education when most illegal appointments were made.
Senior Inspector HR. Rediwar said no offence was registered because inquiry was at an initial stage. A police officer, requesting anonymity, said the Anti-Corruption Bureau has also started an independent probe.
The state had, early this year, asked a section officer in the General Administration Department, SG Kedare, to probe into the matter. Kedare, too, found that the rosters were tampered with. “Because of the tampering, reservation benefit could not be extended to candidates of backward class categories,” Kedare said in his report. Pathan was not available for comment.
University Registrar Subhash Belsare said the university has appointed retired high court judge, Justice Lone, to probe the scam.
Higher and Technical Education Principal Secretary JS Sahariya, who officiated as the university’s vice-chancellor for a few months in 1999, said he did not know anything about the alleged scam.
A decade ago, the university had come under the scanner for an alleged degree and marksheet scandal.