The Central Bureau of Investigation, Pune, had registered an offence against three persons for alleged corruption in recruitments at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) from 2010 to 2014. Examination of hard disks seized during searches at the institute points to question papers of a recruitment test in 2014 being leaked out.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau of CBI, Pune registered the offence against Chhabi Bardhan, who was personal secretary to the director and was later consultant advisor, IITM transport cell in-charge Sanjay Hansale and an upper divisional clerk Amit Kumar.
Bardhan was functioning as LACD (Looking After Current Duties). Some IITM employees expressed surprise as to why CBI had not taken action against director BN Goswami whom Bardhan was close to. “Bardhan was acting at the behest of the director. She was acting as if she was director though she retired a few years back,” said an employee. Despite repeated calls, director Goswami refused to respond. The CBI has issued a lookout notice against Bardhan who remained untraced.
“The case is in connection with several incidents of corruption, malpractice in the recruitments at IITM. The searches were based on specific inputs. We recovered documents which reveal alleged employment of candidates on forged certificates and some other ineligible candidates,” said a CBI officer.
CBI said two hard disks of computers and electronic data reveal leakage of questions and answers of the examination conducted in 2014 for the post of assistant manager. Documents of three bank accounts having deposits of Rs 1.16 crores were recovered from residence of Bardhan.
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The search found diploma certificates suspected to be forged and sale deeds of two immovable properties from the other two. An offence has been registered invoking relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
On Friday, CBI landed up at IITM, Pashan, at 7 in the morning. There were at least 22 officers who searched different departments. They were holed up with the director for several hours. Searches continued till 11 in the night. At least 30 key files were seized, employees said.
On Monday, CBI landed up IITM. Goswami had gone for lunch. They summoned him and grilled him. CBI quizzed several employees who apparently complained about the style of functioning of the director. Some employees are likely to provide details, especially on the way scientists have been recruited in the last three four years.