Also Orders Investigators To Find Out Roles Of Education Ministers Since 2000 Onwards
Jammu: A court Jammu on Wednesday directed constitution of a Special Investigation Team to be headed by an IPS Officer of at least SSP rank to conduct “further investigation into huge scandal” pertaining to Elementary Teachers Training Course (ETTC) in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State.
The Court of Special Judge Anti Corruption, Tahir Khurshid Raina, also summarized the issues for the SIT, asked to be formed by Special DG Crime Jammu, for “unveiling the truth, and unveiling the masked culprits who appear to have managed their escape from the clutches of law in the earlier investigation.”
The Crime Branch of Kashmir filed charge-sheet pertaining to the case filed in 2013 with regard to the opening of many “so-called ETT institutes” amid allegations that they lured the candidates from outside the then State by various unethical modes to be finally awarded one year and two years Diploma in Elementary Teachers Training Course.
“The perusal of the enquiry report suggests that these institutions simply got opened as shops where ETTC diplomas were put on sale by the owners and managers of such shops, that too with the active connivance of the Board authorities,” the court said.
Among others, the court has asked the investigation agency to recover and seize the original twenty two permission letters alleged to be issued by the accused Bashir Ahmed Dar (former Director Academics JKBOSE, and R. K. Jalali (deceased, then Dy. Secretary Academics JKBOSE) and also to get the signatures of those officers on the alleged documents confirmed from FSL to survive the test of legal scrutiny in the court.
The SIT has been asked to probe as to why the investigation was done selectively in context of 22 promoters of the ETT institutes and only few were roped in the case, when apparently the alleged illegal permissions were issued to all the 22 institutes, notwithstanding whether violation or no violation in context of enrollment of the students, infrastructure etc.
It has been asked to investigate the role of the then Chairman, JKBOSE, M. A. Charoo, “whose emergency powers, envisaged in Sec. 13(IV) of the Act, 1975, have been referred to in the permission letters, and who himself has admitted to have started ETT institutes during his tenure, that too in violation of the School Education Act, 2002, whereby power lies only with the administrative department of School Education to start ETT.”
Besides it has been asked to probe the role of the Secretary, Education Department and also of other members of the collegiums of the Board, who participated in the Board meeting dated 26 March 2003.
The SIT has been also tasked to find out policy decision of the government to put ETT Course in the private sector when the course was simply being run in the government sector for the teachers of the government schools.
“What was the objective to be achieved? And why such a large number of sham institutions got opened in the nook and corner of the State after 2002, without the approval of the government,” the court said
It is in this context, the court said, the roles of successive education Ministers since 2000 onwards and also that of the Secretaries Education Department and Chairmans JKBOSE need to be investigated.
“Why out of 40 institutes inspected by A. K Sen Committee, not a single promoter of the institutes was arrayed as an accused?,” the court said, adding, “Moreso, when one man enquiry Committee described all such institutions as the educational shops which simply sold the diplomas of ETT Course to the purchasers from outside the State through touts, why the investigation remained selective and arrayed very miniscule number of the sham promoters out of the promoters of a huge lot of more than 300 as accused in the case?”
Why the touts have not been identified and their role ascertained by the IO?, the court said.
The court said the SIT shall also look into whether the institutes opened after 2005, got any permission from their respective affiliating agency like Board or University in terms of Government Order (No. 446-Edu of 2006 dated 21-09-2006 before start of ETT).
Also, it has been tasked with to find out whether those who were first timer in the field have got said NOCs from the government?
Also, the SIT has been asked to find out on what basis the NOCs/permissions were granted by the Administrative Department of Education authorities by virtue of SRO 123, when they all were found in their inspections by the two Enquiry Committees, seriously lacking the norms and standard of NCTE and failed to find any student in these so-called ETT institutes. Further, the SIT has been asked to investigate as to whether after issuance of SRO 123 in 2010, any permission stand issued by the Board to any of the ETT institute.
Lastly, the SIT has been tasked with to find out whether the fee charged by defaulting ETT institutes from the students stand recovered by the committee to be constituted by the government in terms of the interim direction of the High Court dated 13 August 2015.