| The Scam Calendar
January 16, 1997:
• Mukti Deb appears in an interview for the post of lecturer
• She produces photocopies of certificates and marksheets
attested by Sinha, the then VC
• The certificates say she
secured 42.3% in HS, 70%
in BSc (CU), 75% in MSc (JU) and 80% in MPhil
• She is selected
• Deb applies for PhD
• Visva-Bharati seeks original documents
• She submits copy of FIR
saying they are lost and
produces documents showing that she had applied to both
CU and JU for fresh certificates
• Deb tells that she is not
interested in the PhD anymore
• Authorities are suspicious
• Photocopies of her certificates sent for verification
• On April 13 and 15, CU and JU confirm that the certificates and mark sheets are forged
• An inquiry begins: Deb is
first showcaused and then
removed from job on May 16
• CID takes over probe
• CID arrests Sinha and Deb
Calcutta, June 25: Former Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Dilip Kumar Sinha and mathematics teacher Mukti Deb, who were arrested early this morning, arrived at the Alipore subdivisional judicial magistrate’s court in the afternoon amid stringent security and media frenzy.
A Sumo carrying the duo rolled into the premises at 2 pm with a white Ambassador close behind. Security personnel, both in uniform and plainclothes, escorted a visibly uncomfortable Sinha, in a striped bush shirt and grey trousers, and Deb.
The taint of a scam on their backs, the former VC and ex-lecturer were made to wait for over two hours in the court lockup with criminals.
Sinha only managed a half smile in response to a volley of questions from reporters. But Deb didn’t mince words. Asked about the arrest, she scowled: “I have been framed.”
Police had a tough time trying to keep overenthusiastic media personnel and curious onlookers at bay as jostling and shoving for a better shot or camera angle continued.
Having waited for two hours, the duo was brought to subdivisional judicial magistrate Manjit Singh’s court around 4 pm.
There, Sinha and Deb were asked to wait in a caged enclosure for another half-hour as the police had not procured the necessary papers to be submitted before the magistrate.
A packed courtroom was told that Sinha and Deb were booked under various sections of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and passing off forged documents as genuine. The charges are non-bailable.
Sinha’s lawyer Tamal Mukherjee told the court: “He was picked up from his residence late last night. He is a very respectable person and has been residing in Calcutta since 1944. He is a cardiac patient and someone of his stature should not be harassed like this. (The) police delayed in getting the case diary to the court, due to which Sinha was made to wait in the lockup for such a long time.”
Deb’s lawyer claimed the arrest was “illegal”. “Arrests have to be made between dawn and dusk, not after that. An arrest after midnight amounts to the violation of human rights. The police are saying she forged documents, but where is the proof'” asked Hafizur Rahman.
The assistant public prosecutor said the duo was arrested because when Deb got the job on January 16, 1997, Sinha was the chairman of the appointing committee and had attested her certificates. The varsity registrar had lodged an FIR at Bolpur police station saying her marksheets and certificates were fake.