Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The Hon’ble Chancellor,
University of North Bengal,

Dear Sir,

As an elected member to the Executive Council of the North Bengal University from the professors’ constituency, I am constrained to draw your kind attention to inept handling of the anti-corruption procedures by the Vice-Chancellor in general and, in particular, to the following with regard to the 256th meeting of the Council held on 23rd June, 2010.

(1) The Vice-Chancellor was advised by the Hon’ble Chancellor in his letter no. 557-SP dated 29th March 2010 to follow the Ld. Advocate General’s legal opinion in respect of lodging FIR against the concerned officials and Dr. D. K. Sarkar, present Registrar: and also to ensure initiating of proceedings including suspension thereof. In his turn, the Learned Advocate General had stated categorically way back on 4th December 2009 that there were serious omissions and commissions of criminal acts by a few officers of the University. The Advocate General had therefore suggested that the University should take steps to unearth the offences committed by some officers of the University conspiring with other persons.

On receiving the advice of the Hon’ble Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor did not convene any meeting of the Executive Council till 23rd June 2010 in complete contravention of the University Act and Rules. But in partial fulfillment of the Hon’ble Chancellor’s advice as also that of the Learned Advocate General, he lodged an FIR on 30th March 2010 against Dr. D. K. Sarkar only; he however did not immediately initiate any disciplinary proceedings, but suspended on the same date unilaterally Dr. D. K. Sarkar under Service Rules 27 of the University.This act of applying Rule 27 raises many questions as to why he applied this very rule which does not permit him to suspend unless authorized to do so by the Executive Council. Is it an unintentional lapse?

Immediately after that, for approval of the suspension order, he did not convene a meeting of the EC either. Instead, he allowed sufficient time to the Registrar to go to the Court.

(2) The Single Bench of the Calcutta High Court in its interim order dated 13th May 2010 on the writ petition filed by the Registrar had stayed the suspension and observed that if the source of power under which the order of suspension has been issued is traced to paragraph 27 of the Rules, then in the absence of proper delegation, such an order would be without jurisdiction. If the impugned order is sought to be sustained on the strength of Section 10(6) of the Act, then the essential precondition for the exercise of such power has not been fulfilled. When the Vice-Chancellor approached the Division Bench seeking a stay of the aforesaid order, the appeal was disposed off on 20th May 2010 with the following observations, among others: By 30th June 2010, the Executive Council shall consider the question, whether the writ petitioner should be placed under suspension.

(3) The sense of urgency of the Vice-Chancellor together with his commitment to the cause of rooting out corruption was amply reflected when after a period of 33 days of receiving the judgment of the Division Bench as above he convened the 256th meeting of the Council on 23rd June 2010. The Vice-Chancellor itemized the matter of issuance of the order of suspension of the Registrar in the Agendum no. 3 as follows:

To approve the action for placing Dr. Dilip Kumar Sarkar, Registrar and the then Controller of Examinations, University of North Bengal under suspension vide order no. F.39/VC-10/Sec/58 dated 30.3.10 under Section 10(6) of the NBU Act 1981 issued by the Vice-Chancellor, University of North Bengal.

Though in his suspension order he had mentioned the application of Rule-27 in item no-3 he now mentioned that he had applied Section 10(6) of the N.B.U. Act. The Vice-Chancellor did neither allow anybody to discuss the issue in relation with the subsequent developments, nor did he allow any mention of the judgements of the Single and Division Bench of the High Court. Instead he insisted on either to approve or disapprove of the item as it was. As a responsible member of the Executive Council I insisted on his placing of the High Court orders in the light of which the agendum should have been drawn thereby facilitating the taking of appropriate decision by the Council against the corrupt officials. The Vice-Chancellor did not agree to consider anything with reference to High Court order. The situation was such that I and some other members of the EC were forced to refrain from giving any opinion on item no-3. I would request you kindly to go through the file attached with this that explains the peculiar position of a member who sincerely desires to unearth the corruption and at the same time honour the sanctity of the rule of law.

(4) When the 256th meeting of the Council was in progress, the Vice-Chancellor appeared to grant entry and indulgence to many outsiders into the premises of the meeting including VC’s office-room. These outsiders even rushed annoyingly to the door of the very meeting room demanding approval of item no-3 as crafted by the Vice-Chancellor with their high-decibel slogans and abusive remarks against all members including myself who could not immediately concur with the Vice-Chancellor. I think that your counsel to the Vice-Chancellor is urgently necessary to let us have an atmosphere conducive to serious discussion in the EC meeting in future.

(5) The Executive Council is supposed to meet more often according to the N.B.U. Act. But the record of the Vice-Chancellor is bleak in this regard because he prefers to run the institution as his personal fief for the running of which consultation with the Executive Council and other official bodies are not mandatory but optional. I am afraid this style of functioning of the Vice-Chancellor in utter disregard of procedural propriety would not help in punishing the wrong-doers. I am not sure if these are being done to complicate the legal tangle so that the ‘culprits’ responsible for this malady may go scot free. The possibility cannot be ruled out because these would help to divert and diffuse the seriousness of the exercise by making it appear as personal vendetta or a play-thing rather than being aimed at rejuvenation of the institution that has unfortunately been plagued by financial corruption and petty politics for a sufficiently long time.

I shall fervently solicit your kind intervention into the matter so that our dear University is spared the ignominy it does not deserve.

With regards,

Yours faithfully,

Ajit Kumar Ray

Member, Executive Council
University of North Bengal

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