Many teachers of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have been protesting about alleged financial irregularities of Lt General Zameeruddin Shah, the university’s vice chancellor (VC). They allege that Shah has been indulging in such irregularities “with the help of members of the Executive Council nominated by him”.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in a draft report, has estimated the total financial bungling to the tune of approximately Rs 120 crore, in response to which the AMU, in its clarification to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), has debunked the audit done by the Allahabad office of the principal director of audit under CAG.
An MHRD official, requesting anonymity, said, “After the CAG’s draft report, the MHRD had questioned the AMU since the CAG had alleged that the university was not cooperating with the audit. Now the university has sent further documents that the CAG needed to finish the audit and submit its final audit report to the Parliament. It can take around a year for the report to materialise and only after that can we come to know about the extent of financial irregularities. The audit is part of the regular schedule.”
The AMU has claimed that it had the permission of the university’s Executive Council to transfer Rs 51.79 lakh to a private trust called Sir Syed Education Foundation (SSEF) for establishing a school meant for riot victims at Muzaffarnagar.
Waseem Ahmad, an AMU professor, however, said, “All these transfers have been done by the VC. He took all decisions with the help of members in the Executive Council nominated by him.”
Naseem Ahmad Khan, an EC member and a professor of Economics in AMU, however, said, “I have not seen the CAG report, neither have I seen the university’s reply to it. So it won’t be fair to comment on it. But I can assure everyone of the democratic structure of our EC. Our VC knows how to take dissent. On several occasions, I have registered my dissent against some actions taken by the VC and he has taken note of it
too. The EC of the university is a prestigious body whose role should not be downplayed.”
Hasan M. Islam, a member of the Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA), said, “It is not just financial irregularities, but the dictator-like attitude in appointments and regularisation of teachers that is also condemnable.”
Naseem Ahmad Khan said, “The general selection committee has every right to decide who will be better for a particular post. Their decision should be trusted. As far alleged financial irregularities go, the funds were transferred to help riot victims and it was decided that instead of donating cash, building a school would be a better option.”
Talking about the controversy over AMU’s minority status, Islam said, “Cases filed against the VC are being fought by 17 lawyers but the case pertaining to AMU’s minority character is being fought by only five lawyers.”