The Central Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Corruption branch is likely to grill B N Goswami, who retired as the IITM director, in connection with the recruitment scam. Sources alleged Goswami is likely to be summoned by CBI as his personal secretary Chhabi Bardhan — who has been arrested in the case — worked directly under him.
CBI’s Additional Superintendent of Police K Babu, who refused to reveal anything vis-a-vis interrogation of Bardhan, said CBI would not like to divulge its future couse of action in the case. When specifically asked whether Goswami was questioned in the case, he replied in the negative. “We cannot say whether the former director will be questioned or not…but we cannot rule out that possibility,” said Babu.
IITM’s current and former employees had sought proper investigation into IITM’s functioning and also against the former director. CBI sources said scientists have complained to them that Bardhan was the “actual boss” who dished out orders, carried out administrative duties and recruitments. She even employed a detective to choose a prospective employee, they added. Goswami, if summoned, would be questioned under which norms such sweeping powers were bestowed on his personal assistant, said CBI officials.
Bardhan, who began as a steno, was made the personal assistant and the last position she held was that of an LACD manager, which means Looking After Current Duties manager. “She was head of the several departments…why was she given such sweeping powers and what was the director as the head of the institute doing? All such questions will be posed to Goswami,” CBI sources said.
CBI officials said they would not reveal their future strategy as it will spoil their chances of catching some more culprits. “A lot of time has been wasted as Bardhan was on the run…so we will take final action when we have to…,” officials said. Some of IITM’s former and present employees have expressed their intention to testify against Bardhan, if CBI seeks their help in the case. However, CBI is mum on the issue so far. One of the charges that Bardhan, who has been remanded in CBI custody till August 20, faces is releasing Rs 17 lakh to a scientist who hardly attended office.
Meanwhile, IITM acting director S Krishnan and spokesperson denied warning its employees against sharing information about the institute with the media, especially with The Indian Express. They also denied tapping phones of its employees, a fear expressed by them to this paper.