CBI summons former BHU VC over Sikkim University corruption case

CBI summons former BHU VC over Sikkim University corruption case
Abhay Anand | Jan 8, 2019 - 12:43 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, JANUARY 8: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned former Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Vice Chancellor Prof. GC Tripathi over investigation report related to an alleged scam in Sikkim University.

CBI's Anti-Corruption Branch has registered a case against Prof Tripathi on the direction from the Sikkim High Court. The case is linked to a Fact-Finding Committee (FFC) constituted four years ago by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to investigate the alleged financial irregularities in Sikkim University in 2015, Prof Tripathi was a part of the committee.

The central agency expressed its doubts over the investigation report submitted by the committee. The committee gave a clean chit to Dr. Mahendra P. Lama, the then Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University, and other accused in the case. Now, the CBI is planning to question Prof Tripathi over the report.

The CBI is examining alleged financial irregularities during the tenure of Dr. MP Lama, during whose tenure the alleged scam happened. Reportedly, the matter is related to operation and affiliation of distance education courses offered by Sikkim University and its centres in other states, including Uttar Pradesh.

Prof Tripathi is also under the CBI scanner as the Sikkim University Distance Education Centre was allegedly operating out of a building related to Tripathi. As per the allegations, during the said period, degrees were distributed in large numbers through this centre.

Prof Tripathi had to appear before the CBI Anti-Corruption Branch in Kolkata on December 18, 2018, but he did not turn up, he is likely to make a visit to the CBI Branch soon.

The Case
In 2012, an NGO approached the Sikkim High Court alleging gross financial irregularities and illegalities committed by Prof Lama, VC, Sikkim University and the then Registrar Jyotiprakash Tamang.

The High Court disposed of the petition in June 2014 and directed the MHRD to examine the allegations raised by the petitioners. The MHRD, on being satisfied prima facie about the allegations, constituted a Fact Finding Committee (FFC) to enquire into the allegations.

In 2015, the petitioner once again approached the Court after the MHRD did not share the FFC report with them, seeking disclosure of the report before the court. The petitioner also demanded legal proceedings against Prof. Lama and the other two respondents.

In September 2015, the MHRD placed the FFC report wherein it was submitted that the report was under active consideration of the Government for further course of action and a notice was been issued to Prof. Lama seeking recovery of Rs. 2.20 lakh on account of irregular payment of electricity bill.

In 2017, the Sikkim High Court directed the CBI to take necessary steps on allegations of financial irregularities against Prof. MP Lama in the functioning of Sikkim University during his tenure as its founding Vice-Chancellor.

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