The Central Investigation Bureau (CBI) has arrested an employee of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Guwahati Centre on alleged charges of financial scam worth about Rs.26 lakh. On Monday last the accused, Niranjan, was granted three days remand by CBI Special court. According to Senior CBI Chief, Hiren Nath, huge financial irregularities were reported in this prestigious institution and accordingly the CBI began investigation and detected a scam of Rs.25.65 lakh. The CBI has registered a case No. RC 0172010A0007, against the Director of IGNOU, Guwahati Centre, Dr Vardhini Bhattacharjee and the office assistant, Niranjan. The CBI has also seized all the records and other papers related to the financial irregularities.
According to the report, Niranjan has told the investigating team that in alliance with the Centre Director, he managed to manipulate lakhs of rupees by preparing false bills in the name of non-existing Manas Travels and Bajrang Goods Carrier. Besides this, while shifting the office from Chandmari to Christian Basti, about Rs.15 lakh, were manipulated by preparing fake bills in the name of Bajrang Goods Carrier. He has been reported of giving some sensational information about the purchases of vehicles and their repairing and informed the CBI that some outsiders were also involved in the scam. The CBI is trying to bring all of them in its net by its investigation going to the root of the scandal.
It may be mentioned in this regard that the IGNOU Guwahati Centre was running in a mess even since it was functioning at Chandmari. A news report filed by this reporter in the month of August 2008, brought it to the knowledge of IGNOU HQs at New Delhi, after which a lot of changes have taken place and the regional office was also shifted to the new and spacious place. In the recent case the Director, Dr Vardhini Bhattacharjee seems to have been made scapegoat. A big lobby seems to have been working behind the scene, which was not cared for even by the institution. The report filed by this reporter goes on as “according to the students, the regional centre is anarchic. There is no one responsible person except the Regional Centre Director, Dr V. Bhattacharjee, who has to remain most of the time outside the city on her official assignments. It is alleged that the Deputy Director, second in position, does not take any responsibility to solve the problems of the students.”
Refuting the allegations the official, informed this reporter that the report concerned was baseless as the functioning of the Centre was going on well. If the things were going on smoothly, how these anomalies have occurred and detected. Even in small organizations, there is system of looking into the affairs by the next official in absence of the Chief. The IGNOU Guwahati Centre has already issued a rejoinder that the director is in no way involved in this scam. Let us see what the CBI brings out in this case.