The Central Bureau of Investigation raided the premises of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakwasla for alleged irregularities in the selection and appointment of teaching staff for training the cadets.
The agency has booked 5 senior faculty members and other unidentified suspects have been booked under IPC sections for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI said it had booked the NDA principal Om Prakash Shukla, head of chemistry department, a professor of political science, an assistant professor of chemistry and an assistant professor of mathematics and ‘unknown others including certain officials’ for their roles in the recruitment scam.
The CBI said that during 2006-15, the accused got selected and appointed in different posts of teaching faculty by furnishing false information and certificates against Union Public Service Commission norms. They also allegedly forged and false certificates indicating their service/teaching experience and exaggerated Academic Performance Indicator (API) score.
The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in 2017 on the basis of allegations that 13 faculty members of the academy were appointed in spite of being ineligible. Shukla was appointed principal of the elite armed forces training centre in Khadakwasla, in 2011.
The teaching posts on which these accused were appointed are civilian positions for which selection is done by the UPSC. On the recommendation of the UPSC, the defence ministry makes the appointment.
Not the first time
In 2012, the CBI had arrested six people in a similar case with class ‘C’ employees at the same institute. The arrested people included Colonel Kulbir Singh, staff officer to NDA Commandant Lt Gen Jatinder Singh, NDA employee Ramesh Gaikwad, Bal Kishen Kanojia – who runs a food stall in Pune, his employee Vishnu Sharma and two alleged touts Manoj Sheetal Kar and Dattatre Sheetal Kar.
The CBI filed a charge sheet against the accused in 2015. The accused are now out on bail.
The CBI is also investigating a case of alleged malpractices in allotment of contract for the purchase of branded clothing for cadets, which involved senior officers of the academy.
A scam like this, at this level and involving a person of such level have ashamed the dignity of NDA and the nation. These criminals should be subjected to the strictest punishments under the law.