THE HRD ministry is set to propose a detailed probe against Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah as his response to the President’s showcause notice has been found unsatisfactory, said sources.
As first reported by The Indian Express on October 17, 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee, on the advice of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, had agreed to serve a notice to Shah, asking him to explain why an inquiry should not be instituted to look into complaints of financial, administrative and academic irregularities against him.
Shah is among the eight central university V-Cs who have come under the scanner after the NDA government took charge in 2014. The ministry had initiated the process to launch a probe against him based on the complaint submitted by Wasim Ahmed, ex-Visitor’s nominee to the AMU Court.
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The allegations against Shah include:
# Illegal transfer of funds collected from students from the university account to the account of a private trust named Sir Syed Educational Foundation.
# Appointment of a retired Brigadier as Pro V-C, although UGC regulations mandate that the position should be occupied by a professor. The appointment was done by the V-C by invoking his emergency powers.
# Appointment of ineligible candidates — assistant professors were appointed against vacant positions of professor and associate professor.
# Collapsing law and order on the campus.
The Indian Express has learnt that Shah’s reply to some of the allegations were found to be unsatisfactory, and the ministry will request the President to order a detailed probe against him. The recommendation awaits HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar’s approval.
When contacted on Thursday, Shah said, “We had answered everything in detail, but they are welcome to order an inquiry. An inquiry will clear the air. If there is to be one, it should be completed before I demit office. I want to go away with my honour untarnished.”
Ahmed, the complainant, said, “The government should expedite this and the inquiry should be completed before the V-C retires. Our demand is that the inquiry officer should be impartial and the V-C should be sent on forced leave till the probe is complete so that he cannot influence it.”
Shah, who was appointed by the UPA-II government in May 2012, is set to retire in May this year.
Earlier, the HRD ministry, under Smriti Irani, fired the heads of Visva-Bharati University and Pondicherry University on the grounds of administrative, academic and financial irregularities. Inquiries were also initiated against the IGNOU V-C, former head of Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia V-C.
Under the current HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar, three V-Cs — of AMU, Allahabad University and Hemvati Nanda Bahuguna University — have come under the scanner for alleged irregularities.