The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked a former Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, in West Bengal’s Birbhum on multiple charges of corruption.
The FIR has been registered following a preliminary inquiry into three complaints, lodged with the Central Vigilance Commission in 2012-13, alleging financial irregularities by Prof. Sushanta Dattagupta, the then Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University. He was removed from the post in 2016.
The CBI inquiry, started in July 2018, revealed that Prof. Dattagupta allegedly received excess payment of more than ₹13.38 lakh by suppressing the information that he was receiving pension from his earlier employment with the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
The Executive Committee headed by him wrongly fixed his basic pay at ₹80,000 per month and he was, therefore, paid an excess amount of over ₹2.38 lakh.
A private law firm in the name of Sinha & Co. was engaged to handle the university’s legal matters. It charged “excessive” legal fees in comparison to the firm/counsel engaged earlier. The subordinate hierarchy of the university brought it on record again and again that the rates quoted by the firm were very high and the university did not have the commensurate budget allocation. However, it is alleged, the rates quoted were ultimately approved by Prof. Dattagupta.
From April 2012 to February 2015, the university paid over ₹77.93 lakh as legal fees, said the agency.