Punjab technical education minister and senior BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal has asked the directorate of his department to regularise certain contractual employees of Beant College of Engineering and Technology in Gurdaspur who were indicted as illegal appointees in an inquiry conducted earlier.
These 17 contractual employees, including teaching and non-teaching staff, were indicted in a departmental inquiry conducted in July 2014.
In fact, deputy director Hari Dass Sekhri, who forwarded the file concerned with the said employees, was part of the inquiry panel that had indicted them. That inquiry panel was headed by Dr Arvind of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali (SAS Nagar).
The appointments came under the scanner in October 2009 after the state vigilance bureau (VB) caught the then college registrar Inderpal Singh while he was accepting bribe of `90,000 allegedly for helping regularise these employees. Inderpal was convicted in January 2015 and eventually lost his job.
The vigilance bureau then conducted an inquiry and found the appointments of these employees as illegal in its final report in 2013. The departmental inquiry also indicted them a year later. However, some of them moved the Punjab and Haryana high court and got a stay on their removal from jobs. Till date, the college has not submitted details pertaining to their appointment procedures in the high court.
The probe reports name nine teaching faculty members — assistant professors Mohit Marwaha (information technology), Preet Kamal Singh (mechanical engineering), Sandeep Kaur (computer science), Baljinder Singh (IT), Lovejit Kaur (applied chemistry), Rishi Tuli (applied maths), Deepak Kalia (computers) and Vishan Mahajan (management), and Pritpal Singh (director, physical education) — and eight others, including medical officer Dr Navneet Walia, computer operator Amandeep Kaur, maintenance engineer Kashmir Singh, and lab assistants Sandeep Mahajan, Sukhwinder Singh, Ranbir Singh and Sukhjinder Singh.
It was on Tuesday that the college principal, Om Pal Singh, received the minister’s communiqué through department deputy director Sekhri in which Mittal dictated: “Please examine and report their cases within five days and send the detailed status through e-mail.”
When asked about what prompted him for it, Mittal told Hindustan Times, “Several employees appointed on contract in different institutions had sent their representations for getting regular jobs; so I have simply forwarded many such cases to my officers to scrutinise, case by case.” He acknowledged his communiqué sent to the Gurdaspur college.
But he maintained that he was not in the know about the background of the employees there: “I will find out. All cases will be dealt with on merit.”