Tuesday, March 4, 2008

JBT Scam
Fate of 3,000 teachers hangs in balance
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 4
With the Supreme Court giving a go-ahead signal to the CBI to file chargesheets against former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MP son Ajay Singh Chautala, it has been established that the process to select over 3,000 JBT teachers was vitiated by the substitution of the genuine list by a bogus list in 2000.

The CBI, which was asked by the apex court to go into the matter, has made out its case that the candidates of the bogus list were appointed and those on the genuine selection list were denied the appointment.

Now, the persons named by the CBI as being responsible for the unprecedented substitution of the selection lists will face prosecution and, depending upon the evidence which the CBI will produce before the court to justify its conclusions, may also be punished.

But what happens to those who had been drawing their salaries from the public exchequer for the last eight years, though they were not entitled to do so and also to those who had been waiting for justice all these years?

It was only after the respondents had conceded before the apex court that the two selection lists existed, the Supreme Court asked the CBI to find out which list was genuine and which was bogus.

Ordering the CBI inquiry, the apex court had also answered the question about the fate of the “selected” and “unselected” candidates.

The court said their fate would depend upon the result of the inquiry. “It is only one set of persons, who will be found genuine and hence entitled to hold the posts of teacher and persons from the list (from which the candidates were given appointment), if found to be false, shall have to make room for others.”

On the face of it, the Supreme Court made it very clear that once the CBI completed its inquiry, the list held as genuine by the premier investigating agency would prevail and the candidates on it would get appointment.

The state government has so far not given any thought to these consequences of the CBI case against the Chautalas and several government officers who were associated with the selection process directly or indirectly.

The spirit behind the JBT teachers case in the apex court, Congress MLA from Palwal Karan Singh Dalal, today demanded that the state government should immediately terminate the services of the “tainted” JBT teachers and issue appointment letters to those who were denied their justified due by the INLD government eight years ago.

Dalal also demanded the resignation of the Chautalas from the Assembly and the Rajya Sabha.

He said the salary paid to the “tainted” teachers should be recovered from the Chautalas, who not only sinned against those who were denied their due but also against schoolchildren who were forced to learn from “incompetent” teachers.

Monday, March 3, 2008


JBT Scam
Chautala, son Ajay to face prosecution
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 3
In a significant development, the CBI today lifted the veil of secrecy about its investigation in the Haryana JBT teachers’ recruitment scam and categorically told the Supreme Court that former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala, MP, will face prosecution.

The CBI further said no sanction for filing the charge sheet in the trial court against the father and son duo was required under the law.

The CBI has taken the “no sanction” stand against Chautala and Ajay after detailed consultation with legal experts in the light of Supreme Court’s ruling in Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s case.

Apart from the father and son, the CBI, under various provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, will proceed against 10 other accused.

They include the then officer on special duty (OSD) Vidyadhar in the CM’s office and former Haryana director of primary education Sanjiv Kumar. The CBI counsel said in Sanjiv Kumar and Vidhyadhar’s case, sanction was yet to be obtained from competent authorities.

Disclosure of Chautala and Ajay’s names was made by additional solicitor general Amrendra Sharan, appearing for the CBI after a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhan and Dalveer Bhandari put specific query to him about the who’s who of the accused persons and the latest position about completion of the sanction process for filing the charge sheet against them.

Unlike the February 1 hearing, when the CBI counsel was reluctant to clearly disclose the names of the accused persons, he was forthcoming today when the court put him the query.

The CBI counsel said though Chautala and his son were also the public servants in their present capacity as MLA and MP respectively but for filing the charge sheet against them the sanction was not necessary.

In the Badal case verdict, it was laid down that for chargesheeting a public servant sanction becomes mandatory only under Section 197 of the CrPC not under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

The distinction was made by the apex court to protect public servants against “frivolous” prosecution for an act done in the discharge of their official duty as Section 197 of CrPC provides them a protective cover. But this cover would not extend to a public servant under the PCA for any “deliberate” act of corrupt practice aimed at obtaining “pecuniary gains” for himself.

The other eight persons probed by the CBI in the JBT scam case mostly include middle rung Haryana government servants involved in the processing of the recruitment of over 2,000 primary school teachers during Chautala’ tenure.

In view of the statement of the additional solicitor general, the court adjourned the hearing on a set of PILs in the case for six weeks, giving the CBI further time to complete the sanction process.

The CBI is investigating the scam on the Supreme Court’s orders following a set of PILs filed in 2003 alleging that Chautala had forced Sanjiv Kumar to change the list of “genuine” selected candidates with a list drawn by his OSD Vidyadhar of the candidates from whom money was “collected”.