ETT scam: HC Raps Crime Branch

Srinagar—Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday sought details of all the unauthorized Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) colleges even as it took serious note of Crime Branch’s decision to hold investigation after 2012 sessions by such institutes. 

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, A division bench of Justices Ramalingam Sudhakar and M K Hanjura directed the Crime Branch file fresh status of the investigation from session 2012 to 2017 on next date. The court has already directed authorities to close all the unauthorised ETT colleges.  

The direction followed state counsel’s submission that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the crime branch, probing the matter regarding irregularities and embezzlement in ETT colleges, that since huge number of such colleges were running in the state as such SIT is investigating the matter yearly and yearly progress of investigation may be permitted by the court.

The Court directed the counsel for crime branch to submit the report with regard to investigation of all sessions from 2012 to 2017.  

“It seems that officials are hand in glove with the erring institutions and have failed in controlling the illegal practice of these institutions,” the court observed.  During the proceedings of the case counsel appearing on behalf of one of the colleges submitted before the court that since most of the colleges have been found to be operating illegally from Jammu Division as such the matter may be transferred to Jammu wing of the High Court. 

State counsel vehemently opposed the submissions and submitted it was on court directions that FIRs have been registered in both divisions (Kashmir as well as Jammu) of the state and that the FIR which was pending in CB Srinagar is still under investigation.

The Crime Branch has registered two cases (FIR No. 27/2013, P/S Crime Branch, Kashmir and FIR: 36/2013, Crime Branch, Jammu) under 5(2) of Prevention of corruption Act) as well as RPC sections of 420, 468, 471.

 An inquiry conducted by the Board of School Education (BOSE) into the training course by the ETT colleges has already described it a “big scandal run by mafia in league with the top brass in the BOSE.”

The investigators arrested some officials of the BOSE including its former chairman in connection with the case. They were later released on bail.

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