Crime branch probe brings ETT mess to fore

Srinagar: An ongoing probe by Crime Branch into the working of elementary training colleges in Jammu and Kashmir has brought forth rampant academic indiscipline in these institutes even as the high court directed government to ensure that the “stream of education is not polluted any further.”
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed crime branch to explain what will be the fate of property accumulated by the ETT owners who have prima-facie been found involved in the FIR (no. 36/2013), registered in police station Crime Branch under 5(2) of Prevention of corruption Act ) as well as RPC sections of 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery), 471 (counterfeit seal).
“The status report (filed by Inspector General of Crime Branch) has brought forth the shocking state of affairs in the field of education,” the bench said, observing that in some of the cases, an Institute, which has admitted 127 students for undergoing Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) Course, only one candidate and single teacher was found by the investigating agency.
The students, who are being admitted in these Institutions, are mostly from outside the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Some students have been examined by the investigating agency and they admitted that they have not studied in the colleges where they were admitted for undergoing EIT course but attended the college only on the day of examination, where after they have been awarded certificates,” the bench observed.
DSP Abdul Wahid, the Investigating Officer, who was present the court stated that material has come to his notice about some officers and authorities who are prima facie involved in the commission of offence. The DSP also submitted that he will proceed in the matter strictly in accordance with law.
“The status report, prima facie shows that some of owners of these ET Institutions have not been rendering service to the society but acted only from commercial point of view and have made huge assets by indulging in such type of dubious and illegal activities,” the court said and directed the investigating officer to investigate “this angle of the case as well.”
“What will be the fate of property accumulated by the ETT owners, (the IO) shall have to explain to the Court on t status as well,” the bench said.
The report has made startling revelations about manner in which ETT colleges are set up and how they conduct their affairs in the state.
“The status report would show that the School Education Department Civil Secretariat has handed over 38 files to Crime Branch, Jammu on June 16. The School Education Department, has failed till date to provide posting details of the officers/officials,” the court observed.
However, in order to arrest the further deterioration in the education system in the State, the court directed the authorities to chalk out a comprehensive policy for granting permission for setting up of ETT Institutes.
“To ensure that the students, who are admitted in these Institutes, do physically remain present during the entire period in which the course is to be completed, some measures have to be adopted,” the court said.
At this stage, Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganai submitted that all necessary steps will be taken by the State Government to ensure that the stream of education in the State was not polluted any further. “We hope and trust that state government will take all necessary steps to ensure that the education is imparted to the students in the manner it is required.”
The court also expressed hope that the government will take all necessary steps and measures to ensure that the laws are strictly enforced and “what has happened in the past is not repeated in the future.”
Subsequently, the court directed the Investigating Officer to file fresh stat us report before the next date on August 6.
“The Commissioner Secretary to Government, Department of Education shall also file a report in the light of the observations made in this order. The Commissioner Secretary as also the Authorities of the J&K Board of School Education will strictly adhere to the norms for permitting setting up of ETT Institutes, for conducting of their affairs and grant of no objection certificate/renewals by the Authorities,” the court added.
A preliminary inquiry conducted by the Board of School Education (BOSE) into the training course by ETT colleges has already described it a “big scandal run by mafia in league with the top brass in the BOSE.”