President Pranab Mukherjee has given a nod for a probe to be conducted into allegations of financial and other improprieties against Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) Vice Chancellor Zameeruddin Shah. Shah is the seventh central university V-C to come under the scanner even since the NDA government took charge in 2014.
As first reported by The Indian Express on October 4, the HRD Ministry had dispatched a file to Rashtrapati Bhavan seeking a probe into allegations of financial, administrative and academic irregularities against Shah, which include illegal transfer of funds from univeristy account to a private trust named Sir Syed Educational Foundation, appointing a retired brigadier as the university’s pro V-C, even though UGC regulations mandate that the position be occupied by a professor and appointment of ineligible candidates. Collapsing of law and order on the campus is also included in these.
In a letter addressed to the President on October 4, Shah said, “I have nothing to fear from an inquiry. It will, however, provide ammunition to detractors in their efforts to weaken my position.”
He added that attempts were being made to tie him down in a web of deceit and that his detractors feel that the best way to do this is accuse him of being corrupt. He also named former Rajya Sabha MP and ex-member of AMU executive council Wasim Ahmad as one of the people invo;ved in tarnishing his image.
Meanwhile, Ahmad in a conversation with The Indian Express said, He (Shah) has done a lot of corruption (during his tenure as V-C) and there should be a CBI inquiry against him. I am happy that the HRD Minister acted on my complaint and sought the President’s permission to start a probe.”
On Monday, Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) also wrote a letter to the Chairman of University Grants Commission, seeking a high-level probe into the alleged irregularities at AMU during the tenure of the present Vice Chancellor. This move comes ahead of celebrations of the varsity’s annual founders day today in which UGC Chairman Ved Prakash will be the chief guest.
“A recent report of the Auditor General had reported a large number of irregularities in financial affairs of the Universty and these should also be covered in the probe,” said AMUTA Secretary Mustpha Zaidi.