The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against the Principal of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in connection with a case registered by the agency against five faculty members in 2018 under charges of malpractices, including submitting false certificates and documents for selection and appointment at the tri-services academy.
The CBI had on May 8, 2018, booked five senior academic faculty members of the NDA, including the Principal Om Prakash Shukla, on the charges of cheating, forgery and criminal misconduct, among others. A month after the offence was registered, the CBI had conducted searches on the premises of the NDA and houses of the accused faculty members. The FIR in the case had also mentioned the suspected involvement of unidentified officials from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which facilitates the recruitment of the faculty members, and those from the Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS), in conspiracy to recruit these persons based on false documents and exaggerated claims of the experience.
A CBI press statement on Wednesday said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a chargesheet against Principal, National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune (Maharashtra) before the Competent Court at Pune.”
The FIR was a result of a preliminary inquiry launched by the CBI against more than 10 faculty members of the NDA after receiving inputs about irregularities in the selection and appointment. The CBI had initially booked the five faculty members. While the agency filed a chargesheet against Principal Shukla on Tuesday, four others have not been chargesheeted. A senior CBI official told The Indian Express that findings of the probe against four others will be sent to the Ministry of Defence for a department action. The preliminary inquiry had revealed that these members were allegedly selected and appointed to their positions at the NDA – and also received promotions – on the basis of forged and false documents indicating their service experience, teaching experience and exaggerated Academic Performance Indicator (API) scores between 2007 and 2013.
The CBI press statement added, “It was further alleged that during the period 2007-08, the accused fraudulently secured appointment as Professor in Economics at National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune and subsequently, during 2011 as Principal, NDA, on the basis of false claims made in his applications to UPSC regarding teaching/research experience, and thereby cheated Ministry of Defence, Government of India.”
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