Calcutta, June 27: The CID will question members of the panel headed by then Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Dilip Kumar Sinha that cleared the appointment of Mukti Deb as an applied mathematics lecturer in 1997.
The multi-pronged questioning is aimed at digging out Sinha’s association with Deb since her days as a UGC fellow in 1991. The former vice-chancellor’s dealings with ex-registrar Dwijadas Bandopadhyay would also be looked into in connection with the affiliation scam.
Deb had furnished fake certificates attested by Sinha to secure the varsity appointment. Visva-Bharati had also issued affiliations to 40 fake institutes during Sinha’s tenure. The affiliation fraud, which the CBI is investigating, is said to be worth crores.
Sources said the findings on Sinha as chairman of the selection committee and vice-chancellor have rattled the Union human resource development ministry. The department got in touch with CBI director U.S. Mishra after the arrest and apparently requested the Union home ministry for a CBI scan of Sinha.
A central team is scheduled to interrogate the former VC, who was admitted to SSKM Hospital yesterday after he complained about pain in the chest. “The CBI has informed us about its willingness to interrogate him,” said R.K. Mohanty, the additional director-general of the CID.
With the court remanding the professor of applied mathematics in custody for 12 days, the sleuths should have ample time to interrogate once he is released from the hospital, he added.
Sinha was chairman of the five-member committee that gave the nod to the selection of Deb as a lecturer of applied mathematics. Investigators believe the panel members had been influenced by Sinha into believing that Deb was the best of two candidates to turn up for the interview.
“In the process, the most suitable candidate was left out. We are looking into how Sinha found his way to convince the selection committee members on this candidate and why they all agreed,” said Mohanty.
Some of the members, the sleuths said, have admitted to being influenced by their “boss”. Some of them have also said that they could not question Deb despite wanting to do so.
Sinha had attested Deb’s certificates as the Rashbehari Professor of Calcutta University.
Besides looking for the means Deb took to procure the fake certificates, CID sleuths will probe all associations that the former vice-chancellor had with the woman who fared poorly at the Higher Secondary level. All her certificates beyond that are said to be false.
In 1991-92, Deb was awarded a UGC fellowship for applied mathematics under Sinha. There was a condition though. Sinha had to send an appraisal every two months. The CID is checking whether he did so.
Bandopadhyay, the former registrar who is in judicial custody, visited the institutes that applied for university affiliation to check out facilities. His association with Sinha, who was the VC then, is now under the scanner.
SSKM authorities ruled out any immediate interrogation of Sinha. “No one would be allowed to question him before five to six days,” said Dr Monotosh Panja.