Lucknow, July 12: Aligarh Muslim University authorities silently struck on campus in the darkness of Saturday night, moving against 97 employees alleged to have furnished fake documents to get their jobs.
On an order from Allahabad High Court, the university dismissed 27 non-teaching employees, suspended 38 others, including two professors, with immediate effect, and stopped the pension benefits of 32 staffers found to have worked till retirement with fake papers.
A list was quietly put up on the official notice board making the announcement. The scam, possibly the biggest to hit the university, is likely to dent its image at a time it is contemplating setting up campuses in Bengal and Bihar.
The ball was set rolling last month by a former employee, Naseem Ali Khan, who filed a comprehensive writ petition listing the names of 125 persons, including professors, non-teaching and class IV staff, who were allegedly employed with fake certificates.
Moving swiftly on the petition, the court asked the university to furnish relevant documents. After finding corroborative evidence, Justice A. Tandon last week set the university a July 10 deadline to take action and asked it to report to court on Monday.
We submitted our action-taken report to the court yesterday. The issue will come up for hearing on July 12, Professor Rahat Abrar, the university spokesperson, said over phone from Aligarh on Sunday.
Abrar confirmed that two professors had been suspended pending inquiry. He said the vice-chancellor, P.K. Abdul Aziz, had ordered termination of services of 27 non-teaching employees who submitted forged/tampered documents in support of their educational qualification and date of birth, with immediate effect.
Sources said the university had, over the past month, been putting off action against the tainted employees despite court reminders. At a July 5 hearing, the court took a firm stand and gave the authorities one last opportunity to take appropriate action.
Please show the door to the employees who entered employment on the strength of fraud, the court said. Subsequently, the university set up a three-member committee to conduct inquiries.
Abrar said that on the committees recommendation, the vice-chancellor also stopped the pension of 32 retired employees found to have furnished fake certificates to get their jobs.
Fourteen more employees are under the glare. We are awaiting a verification report from some departments, a professor said.
Sources said so many employees would not have been able to get jobs with forged papers if a fake-certificate ring was not functioning in the university vicinity. But spokesperson Abrar denied the existence of any such ring. University officials were duped, he said.