Allahabad: Alarmed by the discovery that at least four women had been appointed as teachers in various districts of Uttar Pradesh using the same name and set of certificates, Allahabad High Court has ordered filing of a case and asked the Crime Branch of CID to probe the case.
Noting that "fraudulent appointments" of as many as four women in the name of "Poonam Pandey" was a "scam" by the Department of Basic Education, Justice Vikram Nath ordered on March 12 that the CB CID shall submit its report of the investigation on March 20.
"It is a case of clear-cut fraud, cheating, manipulation and misrepresentation", the court remarked, adding "it not only involves offence committed by four women but by their relatives and the officials of Basic Education Department and its allied Directorate".
"Considering the fact that all the women imposing as Poonam Pandey are married, they would not be arrested till conclusion of the investigation on the condition that they will extend full cooperation to the investigation agency," the court said.
However, the court made it clear "in case investigating agency finds that there is any hindrance or non-cooperation by the women or their relatives, it would be open to the agency to apply before this court for withdrawing this order of stay of their arrest".
The irregularities came to light in course of hearing on a petition filed by one of the women employed in the name of "Poonam Pandey" who turned out to be Poonam Mishra, a resident of Siddharthnagar district.
On February 6, 2013, the court had directed the then Circle Officer of Bansi in Siddharthnagar to probe the matter and submit a report.
The Circle Officer`s report disclosed that "using one set of certificates of a genuine teacher, other women alleging themselves to be the same person have obtained appointments in different institutions in different districts" and that "there could be several other similar fraudulent appointments".