NLIU Degree Scam: Justice Gohil Committee recommends FIR against faculty, staff

NLIU Degree Scam: Justice Gohil Committee recommends FIR against faculty, staff

The Justice Gohil Committee, formed to investigate allegations of students of National Law Institute University (NLIU) Bhopal being awarded fake degrees, has recommended action against nine faculty and staff members, reports TOI.

The panel headed by former Madhya Pradesh High Court judge, Justice Abhay Gohil, has recommended that FIRs be filed against nine current and former staffers of NLIU, and has issued show cause notices to six others in relation to the fake degrees scam.

Those implicated in the controversy include former Registrar RKS Gautam, former Assistant Registrars Ranjit Singh and Ravi Pandey, Professor Ghayur Alam, and Associate Professors Monica Raje and Kavita Singh, among others.

The report of the panel, submitted to the General Council of the University last week, reportedly states that NLIU staffers manipulated marks and helped students get fake degrees from 1998 to 2013. The TOI report states that one such student of the 2010 batch failed in 47 subjects in 14 trimesters, but received a pass certificate for all subjects. The committee reportedly found that a total of 188 students were given degrees under these circumstances, and has recommended action against 101 such students.

After perusing the evidence on record, the panel found that manipulations were made in the records of the examination section by way of changing and increasing marks of students. Corrections were made in the marksheets without providing justification for the same, in order to change the scores of failed students, the report states. The panel has even gone to the extent of calling it a “clear case of forgery, fraud and creating false documents to make changes in the genuine record of the University under a criminal conspiracy”.

Thus, the Justice Gohil Committee recommended that FIRs be lodged against nine current and former employees of NLIU.

Speaking to Bar & Bench, NLIU Bhopal Registrar Giribala Singh said,

“The General Council has approved certain recommendations [made by the Committee]. We are still waiting for the signed copy of the GC report to come back to us so that we can initiate action.”

The students found to be guilty of such malpractice also await a similar fate. The Registrar said that the University could not take any action before receiving the official recommendations of the General Council.

During the end of 2017, NLIU students had protested the state of affairs at the University, bringing classes to a standstill. The issue of manipulation of marks was one of the chief gripes; the straw that broke the camel’s back was an incident where the faculty and administration allegedly allowed a fourth-year student who failed a paper by ten marks to pass.

Following week-long protests, then Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and Chancellor of the University Hemant Gupta had met a delegation of students in order to assuage their concerns. Justice Gupta had called for a new Director to head the University, after students demanded that Prof SS Singh be ousted from the position.

Further, it was ordered that a Committee consisting of the Additional Chief Secretary of the state government’s Higher Education Department, and the Principal Secretary shall undertake a fact-finding inquiry into the allegations made by the students of NLIU.

Then, in May last year, the Governing Council of NLIU had appointed Justice Gohil to conduct an inquiry into the fake degrees scandal. This, after an internal committee had found that 16 students were awarded BA.LLB. degrees despite failing their exams.

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