SHILLONG: The Meghalaya High Court today directed the CBI to investigate the education scam, involving several politicians in the state, and complete the probe within six months.
It also slammed the government-appointed high level scrutiny committee, whose exercise was found "farcical" and "a cover-up" aimed at shielding those who had polluted the system and who ought to have been sternly dealt with.
"It is directed that the CBI shall carry out similar nature inquiry, as carried out earlier in pursuance of the order dated 21.10.2011 and shall similarly segregate the tainted and untainted candidates and submit its report to the chief secretary within six months from today," a bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Prakash Vaish said in the order.
The bench also directed the state government to hand over the entire record relating to all the examination centres at Shillong, Jowai, Amlarem, Tura and Dadengre to the CBI without fail.
The court noted that the earlier scrutiny committee of the government had "failed" to attend to the "crux of the matter".
It constituted a three-member scrutiny committee to be headed by the chief secretary to examine the report of the CBI. The other members will be a bureaucrat and someone from a state or a central university.
It shall carry out further inquiry as considered necessary and submit its report to the state government to take action as per law.
As far as the candidates whose appointments were found tainted, the high court bench said they could approach the scrutiny committee for reconsideration of their case.
The high court has also scrapped the selection made in the five centres due to the interference of the political representatives including the then education minister, the Speaker and several other legislators and members of top government bodies.
The court noted the fact that the public representatives "interfered" to a large extent and with impunity reducing the entire process to a "mockery".
In 2010, around 355 assistant teachers were appointed in government lower primary schools. There were allegations of political interference, nepotism and tampering of marks in the appointment process of the teachers.
The CBI in 2012 during its investigation had indicted at least 15 ministers, MLAs and other political leader of recommending for appointment of teachers in which marks on the score sheets was "tampered" at the "behest" of the political representatives.