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Govt not to sway probe: CM

Shillong, Nov. 8: The Meghalaya government today said it would not interfere with the ongoing inquiry being conducted by the high-level scrutiny committee in relation to the anomalies in the appointment of assistant teachers in government lower primary schools.

After having been under the scanner for days from several quarters, chief minister Mukul Sangma asked the public to be patient till the committee, which was constituted following a directive from the Shillong bench of Gauhati High Court, submits its findings.

Before the court had directed the state government to constitute the committee, the CBI had unearthed largescale tampering, nepotism and political interference in the appointment of the schoolteachers.

In its report, the investigating agency had virtually nailed incumbent urban affairs minister Ampareen Lyngdoh for allegedly instructing an official of the state education department during her stint as education minister to alter the score sheets of the candidates.

Other ministers, legislators and members of the district council were also named for recommending candidates for appointment to the post of assistant teachers.

“The relevant orders of the division bench of the high court have clearly specified the line of action which is to be followed by the state government in the matter. The government will ensure that the directions of the high court are followed in letter and spirit,” Sangma told reporters here.

The chief minister also said the government would take action based on the findings of the committee once the report is finalised and submitted.

On August 16, a division bench of the court had directed the state government to constitute the committee.

“The principal secretary education department is directed to constitute a high-level scrutiny committee of officials without any stigma to examine and review the records regarding the candidature of the selected and unselected candidates involved within the ambit and scope. This would ascertain the legality of such selection or non-selection of candidates,” the division bench had directed.

Last month, the committee was constituted with E.P. Kharbhih, secretary (education), as chairman.

The members include C.C.M. Mihsil, director, education (research and training) and P. Ryngksai, deputy director, education.

The committee will have to submit the report to the government within six months.

Asked if Ampareen would be permitted to continue in the cabinet during the inquiry, Sangma said, “As this is being done according to the directive of the court, we expect that we will not have any tendency or inclination to influence the process of scrutiny. I would like to dispel the doubts that there will be any attempt from the side of the government to dilute the process of the exercises done by the committee.”

He also said, “I want to ensure that this whole exercise of the government does not give any reason for people to have a feeling that because of the whole perception being created in the past, the present will also be bad and so will be the future. We must always believe that the future will be better.”

Last year, the investigating agency was asked by the high court to probe the issue of alleged irregularities in the appointment of teachers.

The probe was ordered when the court had adjudicated on a case of nine writ petitions filed by aggrieved applicants from various parts of the state after information obtained through the RTI Act, 2005 brought to light various discrepancies and manipulation in the appointment of assistant teachers in 2009-2010.