Fake certificates by ‘trampoline players’ on rise in Maharashtra
Om Prakash Bakoria, commissioner, MSSD said that of the candidates who had applied for jobs with the department, only three had furnished genuine certificates over the said period.Updated: Oct 31, 2020, 10:00 IST
The number of fake certificates being furnished by “trampoline players” for getting jobs in the Maharashtra State Sports Department (MSSD) has gone through the roof with more than 262 candidates being blacklisted for forgery over six years.
Om Prakash Bakoria, commissioner, MSSD said that of the candidates who had applied for jobs with the department, only three had furnished genuine certificates over the said period. “There are dubious cases in other disciplines too, such as ice hockey, powerlifting and sepak takraw, but the maximum fake certificates are in trampoline (now part of gymnastics).”
As per norms, meritorious national- and state-level athletes get a five per cent quota in state government jobs. “Preliminary investigation by the sports department has revealed that 32 candidates from Aurangabad and 22 from Nagpur --- all in trampoline --- had submitted bogus certificates (in the past six years),” added Bakoria.
A state-level medal winner can get a job as a constable, teacher or clerk in a bank. “The stakes are higher for national and international athletes,” said a state department official on condition of anonymity.
Three years ago Vijay Sadashiv Borkar from Kolhapur district allegedly submitted a fake sports certificate to the sports department for verification, claiming he won bronze at the national trampoline championship in Mumbai (December 27-29, 2013). The sports department filed an FIR in June this year against Borkar. “It is just the tip of the iceberg,” another official familiar with the developments said.
Now, MSSD has widened the purview of its investigation. “In the last five months, investigation have been more thorough and more disciplines are under scrutiny,” Bakoria added.
Former Maharashtra Trampoline Association secretary Rajinder Pathania , who is also a Sports Authority of India official now posted in Kolkata after serving in Aurangabad, has blamed local sports officials for the manipulation. “I have submitted all the records to the sports department… It’s a good move to clean up the system,” said Pathania, adding, “I had resigned from the post in 2005. I have no idea what has happened after that.”
Harjinder Singh, general secretary, Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI), says, “If my state unit is at fault, we can suspend the officials and constitute a new body.” However, Prashant Chavan, secretary-general, Maharashtra Ice Hockey Association, denies any wrongdoing. “I’ve not indulged in any wrongful activity,” he said.
Chavan says, during a state-level ice-hockey competition, more than 20 teams participate. “Each team has 22 players but only six, including the goalkeeper, compete. But medals are awarded to every individual of the winning team. That’s the reason for so many certificates being awarded.”
As per the new protocol, MSSD has made it mandatory for state sports bodies to send the results of competitions immediately after an event. “A government observer is also mandatory, or else the results will be declared null and void,” an official familiar with the developments said.