Paper leak fallout

800 TGTs, JBT teachers sacked

CHANDIGARH: The UT Education Department on Thursday sent back about 800 trained graduate teachers (TGTs), junior basic training (JBT) teachers and nursery teacher training (NTT) teachers home as their recruitment process in 2015 was found “vitiated”.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31

The UT Education Department on Thursday sent back about 800 trained graduate teachers (TGTs), junior basic training (JBT) teachers and nursery teacher training (NTT) teachers home as their recruitment process in 2015 was found “vitiated”.

The department worked till late on Wednesday night and typed the reliving orders of all. As soon as the officials reached the office on Thursday, they were instructed to make heads and principals to deliver the relieving orders. The orders were delivered at the residences of those who did not come to their institutions.

“There are some who haven’t taken the orders and created a hue and cry. We would send them the orders through speed post or registered mail,” said District Education Officer Anujit Kaur. The date of sacking was specifically chosen as the last working day to avoid any disruption.

Taking to Chandigarh Tribune, Education Secretary BL Sharma said, “Many among those sacked are backdoor entrants. There was a large-scale leakage of question papers. The paper was leaked 20 days prior to the exam. They got unlawful advantage. The whole process of recruitment has got vitiated.”

In October and November of 2014, the posts were advertised while in February 2015, the written tests were conducted. The lists of selected candidates were released in July 2015 and in August that year, the appointment orders were issued.

How matter came to light

The Director Vigilance, Punjab, had made a complaint on July 29, 2016, regarding leakage of question paper. On the basis of it, the UT police registered a case on July 29, 2016, for criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy and also the Prevention of Corruption Act.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to carry out a detailed investigation into the matter. The then Education Secretary had ordered that probation period of these teachers would not be cleared till the investigation was pending.

The then SP (Operation), SIT, Chandigarh, submitted a status report on November 6, 2017, which said the question paper was leaked from the printing press and a large number of candidates accessed it through different conduits by paying between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 10 lakh per beneficiary.

According to the office order issued by the Director School Education (DSE), RK Popli, dated May 30, the “whole network was working in such a manner that all persons were involved, right from the supplier of leaked paper to different conduits, agents, candidates, acting as agents who invited other candidates and provided them the leaked question paper. As such, long chains/pyramids were made for leakage of papers and availing of unlawful benefit therefrom”.

UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore had formed a committee of senior officers comprising Education Secretary BL Sharma to study the status report. The panel also considered subsequent status reports. It cited the cancellation of HCS (Judicial) exam 2017 by the HC as grounds for sacking them. 

What next

  • The Education Department has decided that a fresh written test would be held for all those who had applied for the posts. The eligibility conditions would remain unchanged. A notice in this regard would be issued in newspapers.
  • The order issued by the Director School Education added that in the eventuality of selection in written test, which is to be conducted afresh, the claim of counting past service rendered consequent to selection earlier would be considered.
  • Dr Sarabjeet Singh, a TGT posted at a school in Maloya and among those sacked, said, “As per the terms and conditions of the service, we were to be issued a one-month notice. The action was taken against us without giving us a hearing.”

Rapist tutor among those dismissed

Among the sacked is Raj Kamal, a science teacher at Government High School in Ram Darbar Colony who is in judicial custody for allegedly sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy. The boy used to take tuitions from her.

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