Magadh University Vice Chancellor BN Pandey is in serious trouble. Acting on the directives of the Human Resource Development Department, the Regional Deputy Director, Magadh Division, on Saturday, lodged an FIR against Pandey and others under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, SC/ST Act and IPC with the MU police station. This is a rare instance when an FIR has been lodged against any VC.
Highly placed sources, told HT, the decision to lodge an FIR was taken soon after the Secretary, Human Resource Development Department, KK Pathak"s meeting with MU principals on Friday. Magadh Division RDD Prakash Ranjan Kumar was asked to lodge the FIR against VC and others, which was complied with on Saturday.
The SHO of MU police station, Arjun Prasad, said the FIR had been lodged under Sections 420, 467, 471, 472, 504, 506, 353, 13-1B (Prevention of Corruption Act) and 31-10 (SC/ST Act). “Investigations have begun. We are, however, yet to meet the VC,” he said, adding the VC could be arrested in view of documentary evidence produced against him.
The case relates to alleged irregularities in the appointment of Class III and IV employees in various colleges of MU. The matter was also raised in the House. Later, an inquiry was ordered under the then Divisional Commissioner, Magadh, KP Ramaiah, who also detected serious irregularities in his report. The report had been submitted to the HRD Department.
The VC has been charged with appointing employees on prescribed pay-scale though there was no prior approval of the government. The investigation also detected violation of reservation rules in the appointments. Besides, the VC has been charged with non-cooperation with the team of auditors, which has been entrusted with the task of scrutinizing the accounts and also threatening them.
“I had submitted the report almost nine months ago. Now that KK Pathak has joined, he decided to take action on the basis of the report. I had done detailed investigations in the matter,” said Ramaiah, who is presently the chairman of the Bihar Mahadalit Commission.
If the VC is arrested, it will bring his tenure to a premature end. Any detention beyond a period of 48 hours would lead to his removal, said sources in the Raj Bhawan. How police go about the case, however, remains to be seen. “We did not have any information regarding this development. If the matter is brought here, we will look into it,” sources said. Principal Secretary, Raj Bhawan, SK Negi was not available for comments.
Sources said that trouble could mount for Pandey in the days to come. An inquiry into the appointment of principals by a committee of the legislative Council is already on. Soon after the appointment, former MLC and now Pro-VC Padmasha Jha has leveled allegations of ‘foul play’ in appointment, though the VC refuted the allegations all along and sought Raj Bhawan permission to file defamation case against Jha.