A Short History of White Ink / Education scam of Meghalaya

Jobs in Meghalaya are always up for sale. From MPSC or DSC, money and/or connection is usually the hurdle you have to cross. People whisper their frustration and then shut up. Same would have been the fate of the White Ink scam in the recruitment of Assistant Teachers for the primary school if not for one ‘courageous candidate’ who filed the initial Right to Information application  and activist Agnes Kharshiing of CSWO who filed the FIR based on the information received and then when the case was to be scuttled by the govt. she along with Angela Rangad of TUR decided to name names in an FIR so that govt. is forced to examine the question of culpability of the Politicians and Bureaucrats.

Dr. Ampareen Lyngdoh

The case was simple – based on the recommendations from the politicians – then Education Minister Ms. Ampareen Lyngdoh, instructed her officer Mr. J. D. Sangma to doctor the selection list. Mr. Sangma ably supported by Ms Lyngdoh’s supporters wantonly white inked successful candidates and marks and created a ‘tainted’ merit list. It took eight years of long and convoluted struggle, from the lowest to highest court, inside and outside the court system, before the division bench of Meghalaya High Court delivered its bombshell judgement on 2nd November 2017. 

J D Sangma, Ex Director Elementary & Mass Education, Govt. of Meghalaya

Some of us in RAIOT Collective (and our mother ship Thma U Rangli-Juki) have been closely associated with the challenge to this mega corruption case and we thought that we should draw up a chronology of this long struggle, not merely for the sake of history but also to remind the citizens that justice can be won, if one persists with commitment. This chronology wouldn’t have been possible without Agnes Kharshiing, whose plucky resistance livens up our lives in Meghalaya.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

10.12.2008

The Deputy Inspector of Schools proceeded to issue the advertisement dated 10.12.2008 inviting applications for appointment to the post of Assistant Teachers in the Government L.P. Schools in the scale of pay of Rs. 3450-80-3930-EB-90-4650-100-5650/:

ADVERTISEMENT
In pursuance of Government Notification No. EDN.360/85/Pt.II/428 dated 24th November, 2008, applications in the standard form are invited from the citizen of India for appointment to the post of the “Asstt. Teachers” in the Government Lower Primary Schools in the scale of pay of Rs. 3450-80-3930-EB-90-4650-100-5650/- per month.
Eligibility and Educational Qualification:
1) Educational Qualification:
a) HSSLC or Pre-University Passed candidates who have cleared SET during 2006-07.
OR
b) BA/B.Sc/B.Com passed candidate of any recognized University established by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature having secured a minimum of 45% marks. OR
c) Person who have successfully completed the course of training for LP School teachers conducted by DIET, Normal Training (NTC) Basic Training Centre (BTC) Cherra Teacher Training Centre (CTTC) and obtained the Junior Teacher Training Certificate/Diploma in Elementary Teacher Education (DETE) or Diploma in Education (D.Ed)/CPE Course conducted by IGNOU.
OR
d) Persons who possess the minimum qualification (HSSLC/PUC) prescribed for appointment as LP School Teacher who have been teaching in the Government LP Schools for a continuous period of not less than 5 (five) years as on 24-11-2008 are also eligible to apply provided they entered service within the prescribed age limit of 27 years. (32 years for SC/ST as on 25.11.2003)

2) Age: Candidate should not be less than 18 years of age and more than 27 years of age (32 years for SC/ST) on the 1st day of December, 2008.

Applications should be submitted to the office of the undersigned along with the photocopy of the following documents duly attested by a gazetted Officer:-

1. Two passport size photograph (one to be pasted on the application form)
2. Birth Certificate or /HSLC/SSLC Certificate/Admit Card as proof of age.
3) Photocopy of HSSLC/Pre-University Certificate/Mark-sheets.
4) Photocopy of B.A/B.Sc/B.Com/B.Ed Certificate and mark-sheets.
5)Photocopy of Diplomas/Certificates issued by DIET.BTC/CTTC/NTCs etc.

(3) Last date for submission of applications – 9th JANUARY, 2009.

Candidates found eligible and qualified for the post shall have to appear for the personnel interview to be conducted by the Selection Committee as constituted by the Government on the dates and venue to be notified later. Candidates canvassing directly or indirectly in any form shall be liable to be disqualified.

4928 candidates appeared for the interview

19th May 2009 till 1st June 2009

Interview held for the post of L P School Teachers.

23rd Dec 2009

Result for the post of L P School Teachers was published. 1163 were declared selected in the first list issued by the Directorate of Elementary and Mass Education on 23.12.2009, including wait list candidates, against 857 vacancies until the year 2010.

7th January 2010 

RTI filed By Smt Agnes Kharshiing before the PIO DI of Schools Jaintia Hills, Jowai Sadar. Several other RTIs were also filed

8th February 2010

Reply was provided by PIO Smt AI Lyngdoh Directorate of Elementary and Mass Education.

12th February 2010

FIR was filed before the SP East Khasi Hills District by Smt Agnes Kharshiing with regards to manipulation of scores.

19th February 2010

Letter to Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya requesting Intervention into the FIR filed against the office of the Directorate of Elementary and Mass Education under patronage of the Minister Education.

26th February 2010

Complaint Letter to DGP, Government of Meghalaya, for not registering of case by EKH Police on a prima facie case where FIR has been lodged.

April 2010

The affected Teachers from Jowai moved a Writ Petition before the High Court

14th July 2010

Letter from Smt Agnes Kharshiing, President CSWO to SP East Khasi Hills District, Shillong enquiring into the FIR filed on 12/ 2/ 2010 wherein marks of candidates appearing for the post of Asst Teachers in Govt LP Schools in the year 2009 were forged and overwritten.

15th July 2010

Letter from the SP East Khasi Hills District, Shillong, to Smt Agnes Kharshiing, President CSWO, replying to letter dated 14th July 2010 wherein it is stated that

“ with reference to the above, I am to inform you that on receipt of your above referred FIR, an enquiry was conducted and ascertained that there is no prima facie evidence of forgery and the issue appears to be the alleged manipulation of marks which is n administrative matter. Accordingly, no case has been registered as per provision of section 157 (2)Cr PC and a report in this regard has been submitted to the Hon’ble Court of CJM, Shillong who vide order dated 19.3.2010 accepted the prayer.”

13th July 2011

Another FIR is filed before the SP East Khasi Hills District with regards to duplication of scoresheets.

18th July 2011

FIR filed before the OC Laitumkhrah against Director DEME and Politician involved and registered as Laitumkhrah PS Case No 62(7)2011 u/s 408 IPC .

21st Oct 2011

Common Order by Single Judge, then Shillong Bench of Gauhati High Court, that was, at the relevant time, exercising jurisdiction over the State of Meghalaya, ordering for CBI Inquiry with the conclusion, inter alia, that there was strong prima facie evidence of massive irregularities, arbitrariness and manipulations; and that a fair and impartial inquiry into the entire selection process was imperative, which could be realised only CBI submits its report to the Hon’ble High Court.

POLITICIANS WHO MISUSED THEIR POSITION (From Court Records)

TAMPERED AND ORIGINAL MARKSHEETS (From Court Records)

AND THE REFERENCE TO WHITE INK (From Court Records)

16th August 2012

However, the order so passed by the learned Single Judge was challenged in intra-court appeals which were again considered as group matters and were decided by the Division Bench of Gauhati High Court by the common judgment dated 16.08.2012. The Hon’ble Division Bench accepted the submissions made on behalf of the State that inquiry by CBI was not requisite and the matter ought to have been left for appropriate scrutiny and inquiry by the Government. The Division Bench, however, did not annul the report of the CBI but directed that the records be reviewed and be re-scrutinised by the Committee, to be constituted by the Principal Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya in its Education Department, regarding the candidature of selected and unselected candidates within the ambit and scope of the writ petitions filed before the Court while taking beneficial assistance and guidance of the findings, if any, recorded legitimately by the CBI in its report.

12th Oct 2012

High Level Scrutiny Committee (HLSC) was constituted by the Government of Meghalaya, in an order and 1) Shri E P Kharbhih, IAS (Nominated) (Secretary Dept of Education as Chairman. 2) Shri C C M Mihsil, IAS (Nominated) (Joint Secretary Dept of Education and 3) Shri P Ryngksai, ( Deputy Director, Directorate of SE& L)
Its terms of reference is to:

(I) (a) scrutinize and review the records regarding the candidature of the selected and unselected candidates involved within the ambit and scope of connected writ petitions, being WP ( C) Nos 106(SH)/2010, 51(SH)/2010, 52(SH)/2010, 88(SH)/2010, 408(SH)/2010, 267(SH)/2010, 50(SH)/2010, 15(SH)/2010, and 182(SH)/2010, so as to ascertain the legality/ basis of such selection or non- selection, as the case may be , and thereafter by segregating the tainted candidates from the non tainted , take appropriate actions in accordance with law to offer appointment / confirm appointments of duly selected candidates whether already appointed or not and also terminate the candidature /appointments of the ineligible candidates and appoint eligible candidates including the writ petitioners if found suitable

(b) while undertaking this exercise the committee shall also take beneficial assistance and guidance of the findings if any, recorded legitimately by the CBI in its enquiry report lying in custody of the State authorities and

(c) The Committee will also ascertain if any officer or authority has indulged in deliberate complicity in the matter of vitiating or otherwise interfering with the selection process.

(II) The entire exercise ordered shall be completed not later than 28th February 2013.

(III) The notification/ order is in compliance with order dated 31st August 2012 passed on Writ Appeal No 52 (SH)/2011 by the Shillong Bench of the Hon’ble Guwahati High Court.

Order was passed by P. S Thangkhiew, Principal Secy Govt of Meghalaya Education Dept.

7th November 2012

FIR filed by Kong Angela Rangad and Agnes Kharshiing against Smt Ampareen Lyngdoh and others for cheating and forgery..

15th November 2012

Moved a petition before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong with a prayer to direct the police to register a case on the basis of the FIR dated 7th November 2012.

22nd November 2012

Order was passed in CR Case No 1287 (S) of 2012 passed by Court of Shri I Rymbui , Judicial Magistrate First Class, Shillong directing the OC Laitumkhrah PS to register the case and taking necessary steps for ensuring proper investigation including monitoring of the same and fixed 30.11.2012 for report for compliance of order.

26th November 2012

Letter to SP East Khasi Hills District and the OC laitumkhrah PS for compliance of Order dated 22.11.2012.

28th November 2012

Shri M Kharkrang , then SP East Khasi Hills District, informs the Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Shillong, about Compliance of Court order dated 22.11.2012 and informs the Hon’ble Court that the matter has already been registered earlier vide Laitumkhrah PS Case No 62(7)2011 u/s 408 IPC and was under investigation., and requested the court that the FIR submitted by Angela Rangad and Agnes Kharshiing be included as part of the case records of the mentioned case and be treated as supplementary FIR and further prayed that sections 120 B/167/466/34 IPC be inserted.

23rd January 2013

Filed petition before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong, with regards to status of the Laitumkhrah PS Case No 62(7)2011, and seeking for direction to police to speed up the investigation.

24th January 2013

Order passed for police to speed up the investigation.

29th January 2013

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS files a status report.

31st January 2013

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS makes a prayer before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong, for recording Statement of Shri Andreas Sunn Ex Joint- Director of DEME Meghalaya and Shri Jacob Myrten Lecturer of DIET..

8th February 2013

Statement of Shri Andreas Sunn Ex Joint- Director of DEME Meghalaya u/s 164 Crpc

8th February 2013

Statement of Shri Jacob Myrten Lecturer of DIET u/s 164 Crpc

1st April 2013

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS makes a prayer before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong, for recording Statement of Shri Jeffrey D Sangma, Director School Education and Literacy former (Director of DEME Meghalaya)

3rd April 2013

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS makes a prayer before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong, for recording Statement of Smti A.I .Lyngdoh Ex Deputy Director of DEME Meghalaya and Shri Resperland Iawphniaw Retd Headmaster Mawlai Govt UP School.

8th April 2013 

Statement of Shri Jeffrey D Sangma, Director School Education and Literacy former (Director of DEME Meghalaya) u/s 164 Crpc

9th April 2013

Statement of Smti A.I .Lyngdoh, Ex Deputy Director of DEME Meghalaya u/s 164 Crpc.

9th April 2013

Statement of Shri Resperland Iawphniaw Retd Headmaster Mawlai Govt UP School, U/s 164 Crpc

26th July 2013

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS makes a prayer before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong, for recording Statement of Smti C Kharkongor, State Protocol Officer and Joint Secy of People With Disability.

29th July 2013

HLSC submits Report.

31st July 2013

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS makes a prayer before the court of the R M Kharsyntiew, Judicial Magistrate First Class, at Shillong, for refixing of another date of hearing for recording Statement of Smti C Kharkongor, State Protocol Officer and Joint Secy of People With Disability .

7th August 2013

Statement of Smti C Kharkongor State Protocol Officer and Joint Secy of People With Disability, U/s 164 Crpc.

4th June 2014

The IO/ OC Laitumkhrah PS makes a prayer before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Shillong, for passing an order directing the SP CBI to hand over seized documents related to Laitumkhrah PS case NO 62(7)11 u/s 408/120 (B)/167/466/34 IPC.

21st April 2014

Interim order was passed in Special Leave Appeal CC 5991/2014 staying operation of Judgment & Order dated 16.08.2012.

3rd June 2016

Smt Agnes Kharshiing moved a Writ Petition WP(C). No.161/2016 ,before the Hon’ble Meghalaya High Court, seeking that Laitumkhrah PS case NO 62(7)11 u/s 408/120 (B)/167/466/34 IPC be handed over to the CBI.

3rd October 2016

WP(C). No.161/2016 Case disposed off as matter was lying in SC.

24th March 2017

Hon’ble Supreme Court remitted the matter back to Meghalaya High Court by its order dated 24.03.2017, as passed in Civil Appeal No. 4565 of 2017 (arising out of SLP (C) No. 11357 of 2014) that reads as under:

“Leave granted. Heard learned counsel for the parties. Ms. Rachana Srivastava, learned counsel appearing for the State of Meghalaya submits that out of 268 candidates who were appointed, services of 249 have been terminated. Mr. Jaideep Gupta, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants disputes the above statement. It is submitted on behalf of the appellants that the CBI inquiry as directed by the learned Single Judge has already been concluded and the report received by the High Court which is lying in a sealed cover. On the other hand, Ms. Rachana Srivastava states that report of the Committee appointed in terms of the impugned order has also submitted its report. We are of the view that the High Court ought to have a fresh look at the matter in the light of the two reports which have already been submitted and after hearing the parties concerned. Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order. The matter is remitted back to the Meghalaya High Court for fresh decision in accordance with law. The civil appeal is disposed of in above stated terms.”

11th April 2017

Appeals have been revived for decision afresh in view of the order dated 24.03.2017, as passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 4565 of 2017 (Arising out of SLP No. 11357 of 2014).

13th April 2017

Hearing on case WA No.52 of 2011 in Meghalaya HC.

27th April 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

5th May 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

22nd may 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

23rd May 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

24th May 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

25th May 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

30th May 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

1st June 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

12th June 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC.

16th June 2017

Hearing on above case in Meghalaya HC concludes and Judgment is reserved..

24th Oct 2017

The Bench while examining the volumes of records placed before the Bench, certain queries cropped up and certain clarifications were considered requisite and hence, these matters have been posted for mentioning/clarifications.

2nd November 2017

Judgment Delivered by HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SHRI DINESH MAHESHWARI & HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE VED PRAKASH VAISH

1. (a) The whole of selection process under the advertisement dated 10.12.2008, as issued by the Deputy Inspector of Schools in pursuance of Notification dated 24.11.2008, is held vitiated in relation to Shillong Sadar, Jowai, Amlarem, Tura and Dadengre Centres; and is annulled subject to the proviso that only the candidates who have been treated as untainted/unblemished both in the reports of CBI and HLSC and are in service, may be allowed to continue as stop-gap arrangement until fresh selection takes place.

(b) The prayer of other untainted/unblemished candidates of the said five Centres for induction in service stands rejected.

(c) However, all the untainted/unblemished candidates of the said five Centres, whether in service or not, shall be allowed to participate in the fresh selection process, if otherwise eligible in accordance with the presently applicable Rules/Guidelines, without necessity of their applying afresh. In this regard it is also provided that none of such untainted/unblemished candidates shall be treated as age-barred if he/she was within the age prescribed by the notification dated 24.11.2008.

(d) None of the candidates who has been found tainted/blemished, whether in the report of CBI or in the report of HLSC or both as also none of the candidates who had been recommended by the public representative shall be taken or retained in service even in stop-gap arrangement and the service of every such candidate, who is yet continuing, whether by way of regular appointment or in ad hoc arrangement, shall stand terminated with immediate effect.

2. For the candidates who have been found tainted/blemished in the CBI report and/or HLSC report for Shillong Sadar, Jowai, Amlarem, Tura and Dadenggre, it is provided that any such candidate, if so desires, may make a representation, within 30 days from today, to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya for consideration as untainted candidate. The Chief Secretary shall get such representation/s examined by a three- member Committee, comprising of himself; and one member from the State Civil Services having unblemished service record and of impeccable integrity; and one independent member from any Central or State Educational Institution or University. The said Committee shall take decision on such representation/s within 60 days of making; and if the Committee would accept the representation and treat the candidate as untainted, he/she shall be entitled to the right of participation in the fresh selection process at par with other untainted candidates. It is, however, made clear that if the Committee would confirm the tainted character of any such candidate, he/she shall stand permanently debarred from seeking any Government employment and shall also be liable for penalty quantified in the sum of Rs. 50,000/- (fifty thousand) that shall be deposited in the State Disaster Management Fund.

3. So far the Centres other than Shillong Sadar, Jowai, Amlarem, Tura and Dadengre are concerned, it is directed that:

(a) 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. For this purpose, the State Government shall, within two weeks from today, hand over the entire record relating to all the Centres to the CBI without fail.

(b) As soon as the report is submitted by the CBI, it shall be required of the Chief Secretary to act on such report of CBI through the same Committee as ordered hereinabove. In this regard, it is provided that:

i) The said Committee headed by the Chief Secretary shall examine the report of CBI and shall carry out such further inquiry as deemed fit and necessary but shall make final recommendation to the State Government within 3 months of receipt of the report from CBI.

ii) If large scale manipulations and/or interference of public representative or any other person are found, the Committee may recommend scrapping of whole of the selection process of that Centre too; and the State Government shall act accordingly. In such an eventuality, the directions in the foregoing paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply.

iii) If no illegalities and manipulations are found in any Centre or if the extent of irregularities in any particular Centre are not of higher magnitude and no case of interference by any public representative or any other person is found, the selection process of such Centre may be approved by the Committee subject to appropriate orders relating to the tainted or blameworthy candidate, if any; and the State Government shall act accordingly.

4 (a) Laitumukhrah P.S.Case No.62(7) of 2011 stands withdrawn from the State Police and stands transferred to the CBI for appropriate investigation and submission of its result within six months from today.

(b) The Case Diary of Laitumukhrah P.S.Case No.62(7) of 2011 as submitted by the State Government, shall be handed over to the learned counsel for CBI for onward transmission to the Superintendent of Police, CBI, Shillong.

(c). The other records of CBI pertaining to the inquiry proceedings in PE2(A)/2011-SHG shall also be handed over to the learned counsel for CBI for onward transmission to the Superintendent of Police, CBI, Shillong.

5. The disciplinary proceedings against the then Director, Elementary and Mass Education shall continue and the case file of disciplinary proceedings be returned to the learned Advocate General for appropriate transmission. The other certified copies and the documents in relation to the proceedings of the HLSC as also appointment orders be handed over to the learned Advocate General.

READ THE COMPLETE JUDGEMENT IF YOU HAVE TIME

Have your say

comments

Raiot

Raiot Collective Written by:

We are many, we are one.

One Comment

  1. Monisha Behal
    November 6, 2017
    Reply

    Good Heavens – What craft in our politicians. Thank you TUR/Raiot for the revelations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *