SHILLONG, Nov 8 – Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today made it clear that action would be taken only based on the High Level Scrutiny Committee’s report, on alleged irregularities in appointment of government school teachers, involving Ministers.There has been a growing demand from political circles, as well as social organisations, for sacking of Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, after a CBI report indicted her for destroying the original merit list of government teachers’ recruitment results and preparing a fresh list, illegally.
“There are a lot of inferences… We cannot jump into conclusions before the High Level Scrutiny Committee’s inquiry is over,” Sangma said when queried if he would ask Lyngdoh and other Ministers to step down to ensure a fair investigation, as is being demanded.
Assuring that his Government wishes to dispel doubts that the committee would be influenced in any way, Sangma said, the government would take action based on its findings once the report is submitted five months from now.
The matter dates back to 2009-2010 when 79 assistant teachers in government lower primary schools were appointed by the Education department. The CBI has stated that Lyngdoh, as the then Education Minister, instructed the Director of Elementary Education JD Sangma to erase the original merit list and bring in new names in the list. Most of the new names were of candidates recommended by Ministers, MLAs, including the Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope and present Education Minister RC Laloo.
The candidates who weren’t appointed went to the High Court and the CBI was directed to inquire into the allegations and given a timeframe of three months by a single bench. The High Court cancelled the entire selection process after the CBI implicated Lyngdoh and the Ministers in the irregularities.
Interestingly, the order was appealed and a division bench of the High Court ordered that the government must institute a High Level Scrutiny Committee and probe into the matter giving the committee six months.
“We are duty-bound to follow the Court order and the Committee would be submitting its report (sometimes in April next year) and based on it action would be taken,” the Chief Minister reiterated.