Arrests tip of the iceberg, says committee chairperson
Two days after University of Pune's (UoP) assistant registrar Rajendra Pandit was arrested for his role in the re-evaluation scam, the UoP constituted fact-finding committee's chairperson former ACP Sharad Avasthi, has spoken out.
Avasthi said that since the formation of the committee, he was suspicious of Pandit’s behaviour. Pandit was appointed to the fact-finding committee to investigate the re-evaluation malpractices that surfaced in the examination department.
Avasthi said he was suspicious of Pandit’s behaviour during the various meetings they had to investigate the cash for marks scam. “In the three-member committee, Pandit was the most non-cooperative person,” said Avasthi. “He was unable to see eye to eye with the arrested persons when they had been brought to examination department for interrogation,” Avasthi said.
When asked why he didn’t intimate the Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade about his doubts since the V-C has appointed Pandit to the committee, he replied, “I didn’t have any proof against him. Most importantly, I was aware of the limitations of our committee. As the committee chairperson, I don’t have the right to detain any one. That’s why in the submitted report, I asked the V-C to register a police complaint to ensure in-depth investigations.”
“This is just the beginning. Many big fishes may be caught in the ongoing police investigations,” said Avasthi. Despite several attempts, V-C Dr Gade was unavailable for comment.
15 year’s service
It has come to light that both Pandit and the other arrested deputy registrar Lalsingh Wasave were working at the UoP’s examination department for more than 10 years. “Pandit has served the department for at least 15 years, and Wasave is serving in the same department for the last 10 years. Both officers have never been transferred to any other department,” said a UoP top brass, on condition of anonymity.