Anti-Corruption Court directs further investigation in ETT Scam


Jammu, Jan 10: In an unprecedented scam in the field of education in J&K, called ETT scam, the special Anti Corruption court, Jammu has directed the Crime Branch, Jammu for further investigation in the case. In his findings, the Special Judge Anti-corruption Court Jammu, Tahir Khurshid Raina, while directing further investigation in the case, has passed strictures against the IO of the case and the then SS.P crime who was acting as SHO police station crime branch jammu under whose supervision this sham and and shoddy investigation was done in a scam of high magnitude, court observed. Even the directions of the High Court at Srinagar, passed in the PIL relating to investigation of this case, have been violated with impunity by the crime branch, as observed by the Judge.
While directing further investigation, Court observed that investigate roles of Successive Ministers of Education after 2000, including Secretaries education & Chairmans BOSE, J&K and further Investigation to be done by an IPS officer not below the rank of SS.P and Status report to be filed before the court fortnightly and further investigation to be completed within two months.
This scam became subject matter of investigation on the communication of the then Chairman JKBOSE in 2013, which resulted into registration of two FIRs bearing NO's- 36/2013 at PS Crime Branch Jammu and FIR No - 27/ 2013 at PS Crime Branch, Srinagar, u/s 420, 468, 471, 120-B RPC r/w 5(2) PC Act and investigation was ensued. It's important to mention that before the communication of the Chairman BOSE, the matter has already landed in the High Court at Srinagar through a PIL-201/2011 filed by PARENTS COORDINATION COMMITTEE, wherein catena of directions were passed to the government, JKBOSE and the investigating agency about the subject matter to ensure fair investigation in the case of high public importance. The PIL was finally disposed off in 2019 when it was conveyed to the High court that the charge sheets got filed by the crime branch in the Anticorruption courts at Srinagar and Jammu and a new Government order is issued relating to ETT institutes.
The main chargeshheet was filed in Special Anticorruption court, Jam-mu in 2015 against Bashir Ahmed Dar, the then Director Academics, JKBOSE in the year 2002-04 & five other accused who were the beneficiaries called promoters/owners of the ETT institutes. This chargeshheet mostly related to the alleged scam based on admission-session 2003 to 2005. Simultaneously Crime branch Jammu filed few more supplementary charge sheets based on academic sessions 2005-07, 2007-09 etc. All the said chargeshheets are pending disposal since 2015 in the said court.
The court after hearing preliminary arguments in the case, deferred framing of the charge in the case and observed that for doing substantial justice in the case, further investigation in the case is inevitable. Accordingly directed so to be completed within two months. Special DG, crime, UT of J&K has been directed to constitute a SIT for further investigation, to be headed by an IPS officer not below the rank of SS.P. SIT has been directed to file status report fortnightly before the court.
As observed in the order, the foundation of this unprecedented fraud in the field of education dates back to 2002/2003 when the then Director academics Bashir Ahmed Dar and dy.director academics R K Jalali (now expired) issued permissions to 22 institutes to run ETT course by referring to emergency powers of the chairman BOSE as envisaged in u/sec 13(iv) of Board of school education Act 1975. All these permissions were issued by them without any policy in place, guidelines and without conducting any inspections of the said institutes. It's observed in the order that at the same time in 2003 government had issued order whereby a committee was constituted to deal with any application of any promoter for opening ETT. Court observed that if government had constituted committee for accord of NOCs for establishing ETT, then how come Board members, including secretary education, adopted 22 permissions granted accused Bashir Ahmed Dar, by illegally invoking emergency powers of the chairman, as mentioned in the minutes of meeting of the board dtd 26.4.2003. Court further observed that permission of opening any such training school for teachers was in exclusive domain of the government under section 11 read with sec 2(n)(i) of the School Education Act 2002. On that premise, also the 22 permissions issued by Bashir Ahmed dar and endorsed by Board in its meeting were illegal. And thereafter a flood gate of such institutes got opened in the length and breath of the state which at the time of their closure were around 499. However when a complete mess was noticed in the year 2007 in said institutes, a committee got constituted which submitted its report about the institutes running in Kashmir division. Later another committee got constituted in the year 2010 in jammu division headed by A.K.Sen, the then director academics BOSE. As per his report, he inspected randomly 40 such institutes in 5 districts of Jammu province like Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Reasi and Rajouri. He made startling observations about said institutes wherein he has observed that no such institutions were virtually existing on ground and it is mockery of the things when one finds degrees on sale in J&K. However, this scam surfaced when a one man enquiry committee, constituted on the direction of the High Court in a public interest litigation filed at Srinagar bench against said ETT institutes submitted its report to the then Chairman JKBOSE in the year 2011. In the said report, it was observed that a huge scandal in the history of J&K, where hundreds of crores of rupees are given and taken as bribe and almost all concerned persons are involved in the loot. That all sort of malpractices were done, no registration on time at all, no classes and no hostel facilities. The candidates were lured and a huge amount is recieved from each student while selling the diplomas to them by said institutes. Based on one man enquiry report, two FIRs got registered at Srinagar and Jammu and investigation commenced. The High Court was also monitoring the said investigation and has passed catena of directions to ensure fair and comprehensive investigation in the case which was finally closed in the year 2019 on account of filing of chargeshheets in the case at Srinagar and jammu.
In this court the main chargeshheet was filed in 2015, based on 2002 -05 admission session followed by supplementary chargeshheets based on session wise admissions. Now after having a preliminary hearing on the framing of charge, the court observed umpteen lapses in the chargeshheet which inevitably warrant further investigation in the case for doing complete justice. Firstly, to recover and seize the original copies of 22 fake permissions, alleged to be issued by Bashir Ahmed Dar. Why out of 22 promoters, only few have been arrayed as the accused. Investigate the role of Chairman Board whose emergency powers were used by bashir Ahmed dar for granting permissions to the promoters while the said Chairman was in office. Moreso, if two enquiry committees have found all such institutions as fake, how come only few have been arrayed as the accused. If as per government orders issued after 2005, the permissions for opening any new ETT was to be granted by the government based on a proper procedure, then why they were found to be existing nowhere. What satisfaction was drawn by the administrative department before granting permissions to such fake schools. What was the role of education Ministers, Secretaries education and Chairmans Board and how could it became possible for such a huge loot and plunder without their patronage.
Finally, the court has directed the special DG crime, JK to constitute a SIT to be headed by an IPS officer for conducting further investigation in the case to be completed within 2 months. With a further direction to the SIT to submit status report of the investigation fortnightly before the court. JNF

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