Visva Bharati row: Panel to probe allegations against V-C

MHRD urged the V-C to appoint an officer who would provide all documents or other help in connection with the inquiry.

Written by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Kolkata | Published: February 12, 2015 12:42 am

Bowing to the pressure of the teachers and students of Visva-Bharati who have been clamouring for the removal of Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta accusing him of indulging in various malpractices including financial irregularities, the Ministry of Human Resource Development set up a three-member fact-finding committee on Tuesday to look into the allegations and submit a report by March 31.

The committee will comprise of former judge of Allahabad High Court Sakharam Singh Yadav, chairman of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture (Shillong) B B Dutta and professor of South Asian Archaeology of Cambridge University Dilip Chakrabarti.

“The Ministry has been receiving complaints against the authorities of the university including Professor Sushanta Duttagupta, the present V-C, alleging financial and administrative irregularities in day-to-day functioning of the university… The allegations levelled have been examined by the Ministry… and after due consideration has decided to constitute a three-member committee for conducting a fact-finding inquiry into all the allegations levelled in the complaints and to submit a report to the central government before March 31, 2015,’’ an MHRD note, signed by Surat Singh, deputy secretary, said.

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The note also mentioned that the committee would rationally consider the response of the persons facing allegations, including the V-C, in accordance with the principles of natural justice. It also urged the V-C to appoint an officer who would provide all documents or other help in connection with the inquiry.

The teachers, while welcoming the move, demanded that the Ministry should ask the V-C to go on leave while the inquiry was on. “There is ample scope to influence the probe process if the V-C was in office. He should go on leave,’’ Biplab Loho Chaudhury, a professor and convenor of the joint action committee of the agitating students and teachers said. Echoed Subhodeep Ghosh, a student and member of the Joint Action Committee: “It is good that finally the fact-finding committee has been set up. But we want the V-C should go on leave during the time probe is conducted.”

The university has already restored the quota system for admission in undergraduate and post-graduate courses that it withdrew in November last year triggering widespread protests from students and teachers.

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