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CBI files corruption case against AMU’s former VC

New Delhi, (IANS): The CBI has registered a corruption case against the Aligarh Muslim University’s former Vice Chancellor Naseem Ahmad for his alleged involvement in the illegal appointment of an official in the varsity in 2005.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR said that Ahmad committed the offence when he was Vice Chancellor between 2002 and 2007.

Ahmad had resigned from his position after allegations of appointing Shakaib Arsalan as Assistant Finance Officer in 2005 was termed a violation of provisions of the AMU Act and rules.

The FIR mentions charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and Prevention of Corruption Act against Ahmad, Arsalan (now Joint Finance Officer) and then Deputy Finance Officer Yasmin Jalal Beg.

The vacancy for the posts of Assistant Finance Officer and Deputy Finance Officer were advertised by the AMU on January 1, 2004 and 22 candidates had applied. The CBI preliminary enquiry found that nine of the 22 candidates were found to be eligible for the first post did not include Arsalan.

Arsalan submitted a representation that his Chartered Accountant degree was not being considered equivalent to a post-graduate degree in the shortlisting process whereas an AMU notification recognises these degrees as equivalent, it alleged, adding he had requested his consideration for the interview held on February 3, 2005.

Beg, now Finance Officer, allegedly in violation of laid down procedure, recommended the candidature of Arsalan for interview on the grounds that CA degree is the optimum qualification for any finance person and if a CA has applied for the position of the AFO, he will be an asset for the department.

“Beg had put the note even though the file was not marked to her,” the CBI FIR alleged, adding the note was forwarded through the Registrar and approved by the Vice Chancellor.

There was one more candidate with a CA degree with 60 per cent marks and several other candidates who had scored over 55 per cent marks in PG examination as per advertised eligibility conditions of the University, the FIR said.

Arsalan in his representation had concealed that he scored less that 55 per cent marks in CA examination and misled the officials by enclosing his part one marksheet which showed 55 per cent marks, it alleged.

Beg concealed that there was one more candidate with a CA degree and recommended Arsalan’s candidature as part of the “criminal conspiracy”, it alleged.

Based on the interview, Arsalan was one of the three candidates recommended for the position of AFO and this was approved by the Vice Chancellor on behalf of the Executive Council.

The CBI found that the Vice Chancellor can use special powers on behalf of the Executive Council but such decisions mandatorily should be reported to the Council which was not done in the meeting held on October 4, 2005, the FIR alleged.

“It has thus revealed that Ahmad, though not competent to relax the qualification, deviated from the advertised qualification and approved the candidature of Arsalan to be called for interview for the post of Assistant Finance Officer in AMU. Further the relaxation and deviation in the matter of appointment was not reported to the Executive Council and neither ratified from them,” the FIR alleged.