DU: CVS Teachers Appeal to President to Address Corruption
Image credit: Shiksha
The teachers from the College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University, on Thursday alleged that Principal Inderjit Dagar, accused of embezzlement of funds for procurement of books in the library, was given clean chit by Governing Body chairman Professor Sangeet Ragi even when Dagar is yet to be furnished a chargesheet of allegations.
In a letter to the President of India, Draupadi Murmu, the teachers alleged that Ragi has chosen to close the inquiry by Justice Sunil Gaur and the ex-director of the Enforcement Directorate at a time when another committee report by Justice Dhingra made it clear that the conduct of Dagar was questionable as 180 library books could not be traced although payment for the same had been released. The letter said, "On 7th January, 2022, Dr. Dagar was sent on forced leave to conduct a final inquiry by a Committee (henceforth referred to as the Justice Gaur Committee) headed by Justice Sunil Gaur (retd.) with an ex Director of Enforcement directorate.”
It added: "On 3rd March 2022, the College Governing Body Chairman was replaced by Prof. Sangeet Ragi after the completion of the tenure of the previous Chairman Rajan Chopra. Dr Ragi spared no effort to reinstate and rehabilitate the Principal on Leave Dr Inderjeet Dagar: 1) He did not serve any chargesheet to Dr Dagar till date, 2) He reinstated Dr Inderjeet Dagar on the pretext that ‘forced leave’ is not part of Service Rules on the basis of a ‘legal opinion’ drawn up by a lawyer appointed by Prof. Ragi himself (Prof. Ragi thus diverted the issue of corruption to the technical issue of whether or not ‘forced leave’ is allowed under service rules), 3) Prof. Ragi willfully suppressed the findings of the Justice Gaur Committee, submitted on 4th October 2022. He did not table it before other Governing Body members but left it in the care of Dr Inderjeet Dagar, about whose administration the Enquiry Committee had been constituted.”
Teachers who requested anonymity fearing backlash from the administration said that in the last meeting of the Governing Body, Prof. Ragi took the completely "reprehensible step" of deciding to close the ongoing inquiry by a Justice and former Director of ED. This decision was "unilaterally" taken by Prof. Ragi and Dr Inderjeet Dagar. The letter read, "This was not discussed in the Governing Body Meeting but was recorded in the Minutes. Three Governing Body Members have opposed this move. The matter is that the accused is deciding who should conduct the inquiry under his terms and conditions. This is a mockery of set rules and procedures.”
The teachers further alleged, “We demand action against Dr Dagar and removal of Dr Ragi as both are working in tandem to cover up acts of financial corruption. Prof. Ragi’s tenure ended on March 3, but he is conducting a meeting on March 13 to discuss the appointments of 110 teachers.”
Dhingra Committee highlighted irregularities
Justice S N Dhingra committee which was formed to look into corruption allegations in the procurement of library books had found that Principal Dagar was party to it along with other professors and library staff. The committee had observed, "It appears that the Principal of the CVS college had deliberately been closing his eyes not only to the misdeeds being done by library staff and some of the teachers but has been a party to it. His actions speak louder about it. When he constituted a one-man committee, he made Dr S. K. Bhatia as the sole member of the committee despite the fact that Dr Bhatia had himself signed verification of about 62 books which were not received in the college.”
It further highlighted, "The Principal had some favourite suppliers who had published his own books. It was totally unethical on the part of the Principal to keep placing a major chunk of book orders on the publisher who published his book and was a distributor of his book. There was an interest of the Principal in favouring them. Those suppliers became favourite suppliers of CVS library and were supplying books worth 70% to 90% of the budget allocation of CVS library. These suppliers were Brijwasi, Bookage, and Sharma Brothers. The principal thwarted all efforts of the faculty members to bring discipline to the library functioning and considered such efforts as a personal attack on him.”
Reacting over allegations, Prof Sangeet Ragi told NewsClick over the phone that he would not like to engage over the issue. He said, "If the charges are so heinous, why is not Vice Chancellor removing him? If the Dhingra committee found him guilty, why did the Governing Body not remove him? Why did another committee was set up? Please leave it. The teachers are behaving like fools. I shall not discuss it further.”
Dr Inderjit Dagar told NewsClick that he has not been issued any chargesheet and the allegations are baseless. He said, "It is very easy to level allegations. Some people are approaching media houses to put undue pressure on us. There is a system in place and a disciplinary process to be followed. As far as the Dhingra committee is concerned, it was a fact-finding committee and the mere formation of a fact-finding committee does not prove allegations. It raised the issue of 180 missing books. That’s another matter. After the fact-finding committee, a disciplinary committee is formed and a chargesheet is issued. If there was anything wrong, action would have followed.”
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