In what has come as a blow to the image of Punjabi University, the office of Punjab governor-cum-varsity chancellor Kaptan Singh Solanki has sought a status report from the varsity in a case where the anticipatory bail plea of its physical education and sports director Raj Kumar Sharma has been rejected by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
HT has learnt that the complainant in the case Bhupinder Singh, who retired as joint director sports in 2013, and was a former colleague of Sharma, had met the governor on October 12 to seek the director’s suspension.
It was on Bhupinder’s 2009 complaint that the local police had booked Sharma on August 13 for allegedly submitting forged sports certificates to secure the job of a lecturer first with the state government in 1991 and then as the university’s sports director in 2004.
In his representation to the governor, Bhupinder is reported to have told the governor that the varsity as well as the police had failed to take any action against Sharma even after several inquiries had indicted him for forgery and cheating during recruitment.
“Sharma was given repeated extensions since his appointment in the varsity, even as a 2008 inquiry from the university put it on record that he should be relieved immediately,” Bhupinder had claimed.
The university, sources claimed, is under a lot of pressure in dealing with this case especially after the rejection of Sharma’s anticipatory bail by Punjab and Haryana high court on October 13.
With the governor too seeking a report, the varsity’s image has taken another beating.
When contacted, varsity registrar Devinder Singh told HT said a report was being prepared and it would be sent soon to the governor’s office soon.
“This (seeking of report) is a routine affair. The governor’s office has sought comments on a complaint filed by Bhupinder Singh,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sharma’s whereabouts have been a mystery since the rejection of his anticipatory bail plea by the Punjab and Haryana high court on October 13.
Sources claimed that Sharma was likely to move the Supreme Court against HC’s recent orders that cited strong reasons for Sharma’s custodial interrogation, while rejecting his anticipatory bail.
No action by SIT so far
Interestingly, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case is moving at a snail’s pace with Sharma yet to be arrested. This is even as Rupnagar SSP Varinder Singh, who heads the SIT, has repeatedly claimed that they were ‘bound to arrest Sharma’.
In his most recent statement, the SSP has claimed that investigations were yet to be completed.
“Recently, we asked the university to send original records submitted by him during the time of his appointment in 2004,” he is now claiming.
The SIT was formed last month with Patiala (city) SP Daljit Singh Rana and Barnala DSP PS Cheema as the other two members.
Interestingly, the complaint Bhupinder Singh had met IG Paramjit Singh Grewal and requested that SP (city) Daljit Singh Rana be replaced with somebody else in the SIT, since Sharma, in his CV submitted before the University Grants Commission at the time of his appointment in 2004, has cited him (Rana) as one of his students.
•Sharma was booked on August 13 this year under Sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purposes of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record).
•Two months later on October 13, the high court rejected his anticipatory bail plea
•The two certificates, which according to the complainant are forged, are in hammer throw. One of these, dating back to 1976, says that Sharma secured the first position at Punjabi University’s inter-college meet that year. The second shows Sharma as having secured the 2nd position at an All-India Inter-University Competition in 1976.