CBI to probe appointments in Madurai Waqf Board college

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to into the allegations of irregularities in appointments of assistant professors in MSS Wakf Board College (MSSWBC), a minority institution administered by Tamil Nadu Wakf Board.
(L) Nilofer Kafeel, (R) A Anwar Raajhaa
(L) Nilofer Kafeel, (R) A Anwar Raajhaa

Madurai

Justice P Velmurugan issued the order after hearing a petition filed by B Sardar Basha, general body member of the college.

Basha in his petition claimed that Nilofer Kafeel, Labour Minister and A Anwar Raajhaa, AIADMK MP and the chairman of MSSWBC, after receiving kickbacks appointed 30 faculty members for the college in 2017. Further, Jamal Mohideen during his tenure as secretary and correspondent of the college, took a bribe of Rs 30 lakh from a Muslim candidate and Rs 35 lakh from a non–Muslim applicant and appointed them as assistant professors in the college. Many of the candidates, who not possess requisite qualifications as prescribed under UGC regulation and were not eligible for the post, were appointed assistant professors.

Barring a few candidates, most of them did not pass either the National Level Eligibility Test (NET) or the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET), which was mandatory for such posts. Moreover, the petitioner also alleged that money received as kickbacks was shared by Labour Minister Nilofer Kafeel, College Chairman Mohideen and some members of the governing body.

Amid these developments, Mohideen was removed from service after he was found guilty of misappropriation of college funds and mismanagement of college property. But, he was reinstated in 2017 based on the recommendations of Anwar Raajhaa. It may be noted that the Wakf Board was reconstituted on October 10, 2017, before these appointments were made.

Several members of the Board raised the issue of irregularities in appointment of faculty members and demanded fair and independent investigation. Since the minister and the chairman were involved in the appointments, the authorities rejected the mmebers’ demand.

Hence, the issue was taken to the attention of the CBI and Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) through a complaint on October 31, 2018. Though it was a cognisable offence, the DVAC without enquiring into the allegations, referred the case to the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu. As there was no remedy for the issue even after taking it to the investigating agencies, petitioner Basha said he had to move the court.

Basha sought the bench to direct the CBI to probe the recruitment scam.

After hearing the petition, the bench ordered the CBI to probe into the allegations and directed the agency to submit a report within six months. The bench also directed the state government to extend necessary cooperation to the CBI.

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