At a time when a slew of high-profile cases, including the recent appointment irregularities at the National Defence Academy (NDA), is lying with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), several units of the CBI are functioning without full-time heads.
The recent transfer of Rajiv Singh, a 1993-batch IPS officer, who was looking into the PNB fraud, along with the ICICI-Vidoecon case, to his home cadre Tripura has come as a surprise. But along with him, a number of CBI officials, who were joint directors of several units, have been transferred.
Out of 20 CBI units, six units are reportedly left orphan. Rajiv Singh, joint director of the bank securities and fraud cell of the CBI, which was dealing with the PNB-Nirav Modi scam of Rs 13,5000 crore, was transferred to Tripura.
Nina Singh, joint director (STF) and Special Crime, has been transferred to Rajasthan. Four other posts of joint directors are also lying vacant. However, CBI said that these are routine transfers necessitated because of the requests from the respective states. And, the existing vacancies are not going to stymie the investigations undertaken by the CBI.
The CBI has recently carried out raids in Pune’s National Defence Academy and booked five faculties, including principal Om Prakash Shukla, for alleged irregularities in appointment by forging educational documents.
The investigation is supposed to open a can of worms in near future as UPSC looks into the appointments at the NDA. Some unidentified officials of the UPSC and HQ-Integrated Defence staff of the defence ministry have also been booked.
According to reports, the irregularities to be probed started back in 2007, when Shukla was appointed as a professor. In 2011, he became the principal.
“Dr Om Prakash Shukla falsely claimed exaggerated experience of teaching and research in his applications to UPSC for the post of Professor in NDA in 2007 and for the post of principal in 2011,” the CBI informed.
Furthermore, “The false and exaggerated teaching experience claimed by Dr Shukla was not verified by the then (defence ministry) before he was appointed,” the complaint says.
The other accused were involved in fudging the API or Academic Performance Indicators (a measure of academic record) of candidates, who were not qualified to be professors at the institute.
Irregularities have been reported at various levels. While eligibility criteria set by the defence ministry were flouted, the certificates and documents were also forged, and the documents were not sent for verification.
In 2012, the CBI had arrested six people in a similar case at the same institute.