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HC raps CB for tardy probe in ETT colleges scam

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Rashid Paul

Srinagar, Feb 20: The J&K High Court today took serious note of the Crime Branch’s decision to “keep on hold the investigation” into the admissions in the ETT colleges since 2012.

The Division Bench of Justices Ramalingam Sudhakar and M K Hanjura directed the Crime Branch of police to provide the status of investigation from sessions 2012 to 2017 before the court on next date of hearing.

The court asked the state counsel, "when authorities are at the helm of affairs, why immediate action is not being taken by them”.

“It seems that officials are hand-in-glove with the erring institutions and have failed in controlling the illegal practice of these institutions,” the court said.

During the proceedings of the case, counsel appearing on behalf of one of the Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) colleges submitted before the court that since most of the colleges have been found to be operating illegally from Jammu division as such the matter may be transferred to Jammu wing of the High Court.

In a significant development, the High Court had in its previous proceedings directed for sealing of those ETT colleges which have been found operating illegally and the Divisional Commissioner Jammu has been directed to comply with the directions.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Crime Branch Jammu in tune with court directions submitted his status report with regard to investigation of FIR on the issue. The report of the official revealed that the authorities by abusing their official position have granted NOC in favor of Ambica ETT College and RI Kunjwani College of Jammu.

It also submitted that authorities allowed the promoters of these ETTs to run these institutions in deviation of the guidelines of National Council for Teachers Education and J&K Education Act 2002.

“The promoters of the said institute in league with BOSE authorities established ETT institute, and admitted 17 students after depositing affiliation fee with J&K BOSE Jammu without removing the deficiencies pin-pointed by the inspection team,” report of IGP said.

It has also been added that in pursuance to the directions of the court, a list of ETT institutes which were found running illegally and the promoters of these institutions has been submitted to the Secretary School Education department on November 29 last year for appropriate action.

Crime Branch Jammu has already filed the charge-sheets for the sessions 2003-20005, 2004-2006, 2005-2007 & 2006-2008 in FIR 36/2013 u/s 420 (cheating) 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using a forged document), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of RPC read with section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 2006 before the Special Judge, Anti-corruption Jammu under four challans.

The investigation in respect of session 2007-2009 has been finalized by Crime Branch and charge-sheet has been produced before the said court on December 13 last year against seven promoters of ETT institutes, and against the then Director Academics, BOSE Jammu, Sheikh Bashir Ahmad.

Crime Branch Jammu has further scrutinized the examination records pertaining to session 2008-2010 which revealed that two batches of ETT courses in 2008-2010 (General) & 2008-2010 (court cases) were started by the BOSE authorities and out of 60 ETT institutes established by the promoters in the said sessions.

It may be mentioned here that the investigation is being carried out into the scam by Crime Branch Kashmir and Jammu in connection with two FIRs registered one at Jammu and one at Kashmir and High Court is monitoring the investigation in which till date various revelations have come before the court about the bungling and irregularities in ETT colleges throughout the State.

In one of the reports, it is alleged that the candidates were lured and amounts ranging from Rs 45,000 to Rs 80,000 were extracted from each one of them through touts for providing them degrees and certificates by these ETT colleges.

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