Former Vice-Chancellor of Visva Bharati University Dilip Kumar Sinha and ex-Registrar Dilip Kumar Mukherjee were sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment in a case of conspiracy and forgery by a lower court in the Birbhum district on Thursday.
Mukti Deb, a one-time woman professor at the university, set up by Rabindranath Tagore, was also handed five-year jail-term by the court in the case.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Arvind Mishra held all the three guilty under various sections of Forgery Act (Indian Penal Code sections 467, 468, 469, 471 and 475) and also for criminal conspiracy (IPC section 120B).
According to the prosecution, Deb, an undergraduate, joined the university as a lecturer in the mathematics department in 1997 during Sinha's vice-chancellorship by producing forged xerox marksheets of Calcutta University, Jadavpur University and Visva Bharati University, claiming she had cleared B.Sc, M.Sc and M.Phil examinations.
Sinha who served as the VC from June 26, 1995 to June 25, 2001 became an associate in the crime as he attested the forged mark-sheets as genuine by using his seal as one Rashbehari Ghosh, professor of Calcutta University, without mentioning a date.
The then registrar Mukherjee got sucked into the case as he did not carry out his responsibility to verify Deb's testimonials submitted on the day of her joining (January 27, 1997) by comparing them with originals.
The forgery came to light 17 years back in 2002 when Deb applied for her enrolment for a Ph.D thesis.
The then department head and the university's board of studies asked her to appear with all her original certificates, but she produced police complaints stating all her certificates and mark-sheets had been misplaced. She also wrote to the university saying she was withdrawing her Ph.D application.
The university authorities then made enquiries with universities concerned and came to know that certificates submitted by her were forged, as she never cleared those exams.
On May 31, 2004, the university lodged a complaint at the Bolpur police station, and after a few days the case was handed over to the West Bengal Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Sinha and Deb were arrested in June 2004 and Mukehrjee was taken into custody the next month. The university then put Deb under suspension.
The prosecution filed the charge sheet in the case on March 23, 2005.
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