CBI raids Visva Bharati varsity office

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The CBI on Tuesday conducted raids at five premises of Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan of West Bengal’s Birbhum in connection with alleged irregularities committed by its sacked vice chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta.

Two places in Kolkata and two in Bhubaneswar were also searched by separate Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams and relevant incriminating documents were recovered. Searches at some of the places are still continuing as on Tuesday evening.

The CBI conducted the raids after filing an FIR against Dattagupta and three other officials of Visva Bharati on the direction of central government.

The agency booked Dattagupta, deputy registrar Shyamala Ray Nair, former registrar B. Gunashekharan (presently registrar, IIT, Bhubaneswar) and finance officer A.P. Trivedi under sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.

It is alleged that University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines were not followed in the appointment process during the tenure of Dattagupta, who is also accused of drawing salary from the Visva Bharati University and a pension from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) simultaneously, said sources.

“It has been alleged in the FIR that Dr.S. Duttagupta in connivance with other accused officials appointed Shyamala Ray Nair as deputy registrar illegally in violation of UGC guidelines,” said a CBI official.

“The allegation is that Nair did not meet the educational criteria and exceeded the maximum age limit by at least seven years,” the official said.

Dattagupta, who was appointed in 2011, had challenged the legality of the ministry’s fact-finding committee but his petition was dismissed by the Calcutta High Court.

The university was founded by the first non-European nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921 and was declared a central university in 1951.



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