M A I N   N E W S

CBI raids houses of Chautala’s aides
JBT teachers’ recruitment scam
Yoginder Gupta & Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Two CBI officers sit at the Haryana Primary Education office in Sector 17, Chandigarh, during a search operation conducted in the office in connection with the teacher recruitment scam
Two CBI officers sit at the Haryana Primary Education office in Sector 17, Chandigarh, during a search operation conducted in the office in connection with the teacher recruitment scam, on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, May 26
The CBI today raided the houses of two personal aides of Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala during the course of investigation into the alleged JBT teachers recruitment scam. The raids were part of a statewide drive in which 24 places were raided.

The CBI teams reached the houses of Mr Sher Singh Badshami, Political Adviser to the Chief Minister; and Mr Vidya Dhar, Deputy Principal Secretary to Chief Minister(under transfer), early this morning. They spent over two hours at Mr Vidya Dhar’s residence. The raiding parties were headed by CBI S.P. Harbhajan Ram, an officer known for his integrity.

Interestingly, it is not for the first time that Mr Ram has been associated with a Haryana case. He was also a member of the CBI team, which investigated the Ruchika molestation case against former DGP S.P.S. Rathore, who is under trial in an Ambala court.

The raids were also conducted on the office of the Director, Primary Education, in 30-Bays Building in Sector 17 here as well as several other places in various districts of the state. In most districts, the offices of District Primary Education Officers were raided.

According to Mr Vidya Dhar, nothing incriminating was found from his house. The CBI seized a copy of the writ petition filed by Mr Sanjiv Kumar, IAS, on which the Supreme Court ordered the CBI investigation, and a diary in which the details of cash gifts received at the time of his daughter’s marriage were written.

Mr Sanjiv Kumar has alleged in his petition that the state government was harassing him because when he was posted as Director, Primary Education(DPE), he had refused to substitute the original selection list of 3206 JBT teachers with an alternative list prepared by the powers that be.

He claimed that he implemented the original list and kept the alternative list with him. Initially, the government denied the existence of the alternative list but later admitted its existence.

The Supreme Court ordered on November 25 last that the CBI should complete the inquiry “preferably within six months” into the alleged irregularities in the appointment of JBT teachers in 2000.

The CBI registered a preliminary enquiry(PE) on December 12, 2003, and started investigations. The CBI inquiry established that two sets of lists of candidates were in existence. Different marks were given to the candidates for the interview, which was crucial for appointment. Interestingly, both lists were signed by members of the three-man district-level selection committees for 18 districts.

Mr Sanjiv Kumar released one set of the lists on September 16, 2000, and 3206 teachers were appointed. The other list, purportedly prepared at the instance of Mr Vidya Dhar and Mr Badshami and “the others” some time in August and September, 2000, were produced by Mr Sanjiv Kumar before the Supreme Court.

After about six-month-long investigations, the CBI registered a regular case(RC) on May 24 last under Sections 120-B(criminal conspiracy), 420(cheating), 467(forgery), 468(forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC and Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The CBI has named Mr Vidya Dhar, Mr Badshami, two persons of Sirsa, the home district of the Chief Minister, and Gurgaon, and the chairpersons and members of the District-level Selection Committees in the FIR. The two Sirsa persons have been accused of “acting as touts, demanding or receiving money from the candidates”. Barring Hisar, the members of the district-level committees of all other districts have been named in the FIR.

Mr Vidya Dhar was the Officer-on-Special Duty to the Chief Minister in 2000. Later, he was inducted into the IAS and promoted as the Deputy Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

Mr Badshami was also President of the Haryana unit of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal before he resigned from the party post after its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. However, he continues to be the Political Adviser to the Chief Minister.

Mr Badshami was not present when the CBI conducted the raid. Mr Vidya Dhar was about to leave Chandigarh for Sonepat to take charge as Deputy Commissioner there when the CBI visited him.

When contacted in the office of the DPE here, Mr Ram refused to talk, saying that he was not authorised to talk to the Press.

ROHTAK: A five-member CBI team headed by a DSP seized several files from the office of the District Primary Education Officer(DPEO) here on Wednesday afternoon. The CBI officials did not allow mediapersons to take their photographs while they were inside the office.

YAMUNANAGAR: A CBI team led by Inspector D.S. Saingar raided the office of the DPEO here at 9 a.m. It remained in the office till 4 p.m. It is said that 250 teachers were appointed from Yamunanagar and they were called for interview four times in December, 1999; May, 2000; June, 2000; and September, 2000. The raiding party came in a Gypsy (JK2B-3727).

BHIWANI: A four-member CBI team reached the office of the DPEO in a van around 10 a.m. During the raid no one was allowed to go out of or come inside the office. The team reportedly took away several documents. They recorded the statement of the DPEO also.

PANIPAT: A four-member CBI team raided the office of the District Primary Officer (DPO), Mr R.P. Yadav, and took away all documents related to JBT teachers appointed by the Chautala Government in 2000.


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