The CBI has booked five senior faculty members of the National Defence Academy (NDA), including the principal, on charges of submitting false certificates and documents for selection and appointments to various positions at the academy. The CBI on Wednesday conducted searches on the NDA premises and houses of the faculty members who have been booked.
The case registered by the CBI also mentions the involvement of unidentified officials from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which facilitates the recruitment of the faculty members, and Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) in recruitments based on false documents and exaggerated claims of experience between 2007 and 2013. The HQ IDS is tasked by the Ministry of Defence to verify the documents of persons selected by the UPSC.
The CBI FIR names NDA principal Om Prakash Shukla, Political Science Professor Jagmohan Meher, Associate Professor of Chemistry Vanita Puri, Associate Professor of Mathematics Rajeev Bansal, Maheshwar Roy, who is Head of the Department of Chemistry, and other unidentified NDA faculty members and officials of the UPSC and HQ IDS.
In May last year, the CBI launched a preliminary inquiry against 13 NDA faculty members after receiving information about irregularities. Based on the inquiry, the CBI had initially booked the five faculty members. A CBI official said subsequent probe may identify more faculty members as well as UPSC and HQ IDS officials.
On Wednesday morning, more than five CBI teams reached the NDA campus and spoke to military officers. The teams then searched the offices and residential premises of the faculty members named in the case. Officials said certain documents were seized. In September last year, a CBI team had visited the Education Branch at the academy.
“The said faculty members were part of a conspiracy through which they were appointed to their positions and received promotions on the basis of forged and false certificates indicating their service experience, teaching experience and exaggerated Academic Performance Indicator (API) scores, thus cheating one of the most important military institutions in the country,” said a CBI officer.
The five faculty members and other unidentified suspects have been booked under IPC sections for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In an official communication sent through the Defence PRO, the NDA said on Wednesday, “NDA was apprised of the allegations by the CBI team on their arrival this morning. They had, with them, relevant documents authorising the procedure for necessary investigation. It is clarified that the issue related to allegations of submission of inappropriate documentations by some academic faculty members at the time of their selection and appointment to NDA by the UPSC. Necessary actions are at hand and due procedures will follow.”
The CBI is also investigating a case of alleged malpractices in allotment of contract for the purchase of branded clothing for cadets, which involved senior officers of the academy.