Irregularities in Salem Periyar University: Former Vice-Chancellor booked
It was found that Swaminathan, with the connivance of late Angamuthu, appointed ineligible candidates in university posts after receiving illegal gratification, in violation of UGC norms.
SALEM: Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) registered two cases against Periyar University (PU) former Vice-Chancellor (V-C) C Swaminathan in connection with the appointment of ineligible persons in the teaching and nonteaching posts, giving affiliation to private colleges which did not have basic infrastructure, apart from outsourcing the publication work of semester examination results to a private fir m in violation of norms. On December 18, 2017, former PU Registrar K Angamuthu killed himself at his residence in Perundurai, Erode.
In February 2018, his wife Vijayalakshmi lodged a complaint with the DVAC director against Swaminathan and other officials of the varsity. She submitted an alleged suicide note left behind by Angamuthu, in which he had raised various allegations against Swaminathan and others. Based on the complaint, the Salem DVAC conducted an inquiry and registered cases. In an FIR, the DVAC stated Swaminathan served as ViceChancellor of the university between June 2014 to June 2017, and during this period malpractices on a large scale had been committed in the appointment of 154 teaching faculty.
During the investigation, it was found that Swaminathan, with the connivance of late Angamuthu, appointed ineligible candidates in university posts after receiving illegal gratification, in violation of UGC norms. A committee had been appointed to scrutinise the applications. Swaminathan forced the committee members to declare ineligible candidates as eligible. In some cases, he made them sign documents that did not even mention the names of selected candidates.
Academic Performance Indicator was not verified before interviewing candidates thus deliberately violating the norms, they added. “The local fund audit report (2015-16) clearly indicates the appointment of certain staff is against UGC regulations. Similarly, in the 47 appointments of nonteaching staff, many furnished false experience certificates and he knowingly accepted them and issued appointment orders to them. He, Angamuthu and a few others, were involved,” the DVAC said.
Similarly, in another FIR, the DVAC stated that during June 2015- 2018, Swaminathan, with the connivance of former Controller of Examinations (CoE) S Leela, committed serious irregularities by awarding a contract to a private computer centre for publishing the semester results. They awarded the centre Rs 3- Rs 5.25 per answer sheets totalling to Rs 3.26 crore, without obtaining prior permission from Higher Education Department. Though the department of computer science had all facilities to publish results, they did not utilise it. For expenditure above Rs 10 lakh, a V-C should get approval from the finance committee of the Higher Education Department. But, in this case, around `50 lakh each per semester had been sanctioned for six semesters, and in total, Rs 3.25 crore paid without the approval of the department. Likewise, Swaminathan and Angamuthu were engaged in irregularities in granting affiliation to five newly-started courses and colleges in Salem, Namakkal and Dharmapuri, which did not have basic infrastructure as per UGC guidelines.
Cases were registered under multiple Sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act. Swaminathan was not available for comments. When contacted, PU V-C R Jagannathan said he would comment on the matter after looking into the details of the FIRs.