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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Missing books at CVS: Delhi college probe panel points to ‘irregularities’

The Indian Express had reported last September that the college purchased 180 books worth Rs 1 lakh from 2015-18 that never reached the library.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: March 22, 2021 12:47:54 pm
Accepts Inquiry Report: CVS governing body to issue notice to principal, librarian on missing booksDU's College of Vocational Studies building. (Photo: http://www.cvs.edu.in/)

Retired Delhi HC Judge Justice S N Dhingra, who was inquiring into ‘missing’ books at the College of Vocational Studies (CVS) which were paid for but never landed in the library, has found “irregularities” in the process of purchasing these books. He also indicted the principal for hushing up the matter.

The Indian Express had reported last September that the college purchased 180 books worth Rs 1 lakh from 2015-18 that never reached the library. A one-man committee comprising the then Convenor of the Verification Committee, S K Bhatia, was set up in 2019 to look into the matter. Bhatia’s report said 180 books were “not obtained/procured/received from suppliers”. He laid the blame squarely on the SPA (semi-professional assistant) who, he said, “kept receiving lesser number of books than ordered but signing the receipt for all books ordered from book sellers”.

However, in August last year, the Governing Body decided to set up an “independent enquiry committee” to probe the matter and “fix responsibility”, and Dhingra was given the job.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dhingra confirmed he had submitted the report on March 16 to the former GB chairman who had set up the committee, and sent copies to all GB members. “I found irregularities (in the process). Books were paid for but not supplied. Verification Committee members were negligent. They verified 70 books without being physically present for the verification. There was no clear policy followed in purchasing these books. For foreign books, official exchange rate was not followed. The lowest most person was made the scapegoat; accounts department took no responsibility,” he said.

Dhingra also said principal Inderjeet Dagar ensured the matter “doesn’t rise”. “Around 70-90 orders among these books were given to publishers who published his (Dagar’s) books. He tried to push everything under the carpet,” he said.

Dagar refused to respond to allegations: “I will not be able to comment till the report is made public, but the process (of inquiry) has not been fair and objective.”

In an email exchange with former GB Chairman B C Tripathy Friday, Dagar said there were “many issues” “with regard to the… enquiry”. “Let me bring to your kind notice that sealed report of the enquiry committee has to submitted to Chairman GB only and… opened in the GB meeting. Sending a copy to each member is wrong,” he said.

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