Irregularities in purchase of books: DU’s College of Vocational Studies issues notice to principal, 9 others

The governing body (GB) of the College of Vocational Studies (CVS) has issued show-cause notices to 10 persons including the principal in connection with “irregularities” in the purchases of books for the college library.

The GB had on April 10 accepted the inquiry report by retired Delhi High Court Justice S N Dhingra and decided to issue showcause notices. The had reported in September 2020 that 180 books worth Rs 1 lakh had been bought for the library but never reached it.

“We have issued show-cause notices to 10 people on April 23. They were given 14 days to respond. Many of them have responded. The lawyer on behalf of the GB who is looking into the matter, will go through responses. Another GB meeting will then be called, but seeing the current COVID situation we will have to see how it can be done. It is a sensitive topic,” said GB chairman Rajan Chopra.

Asked why there was a two-week delay in the issuance of showcause notices post the GB meeting, Chopra said, “We need a lawyer with expertise in this field to go through Justice Dhingra’s report. Things were also delayed due to the pandemic. Some of those who have responded to the show-cause notice have even asked for some documents but since college is closed, that is becoming an issue.”

In his report, Justice Dhingra said, “The College suffered financial loss due to acts of the members of the Verification Committee who did verification of the books without books actually having been received in the CVS library.” He said the librarian should be held responsible for purchase of books.

Dhingra also indicted Principal Inderjeet Dagar. “It appears that the Principal of the CVS College had deliberately been closing his eyes not only to the misdeeds being done by the library staff and some of the teachers but has been a party to it (sic),” he said in the report.

“The Principal had some favourite suppliers who had published his own books. It was totally unethical on part of the Principal to keep placing major chunk of book orders on publishers who published his book…There was an interest of the Principal in favouring them,” he said.

Dhingra also said Dagar gave a “clean chit” to the library staff in 2019 “saying that there was no corruption in the library”, and considered the issue of the missing books as a “non-serious thing and trivial matter”.

Principal Inderjeet Dagar did not respond to queries.

On April 5, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had reprimanded CVS for failing to respond to an RTI query regarding the library issue, saying the college seemed to be “withholding information” and had “failed to regard the tenets of probity and transparency”.