Fraud charge against top airport officer for fake ST certificate

October 7th, 2008 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) A top officer of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is being charged with fraud and can be dismissed from service for reportedly having faked his caste certificate to secure the job, a senior official said. M.G. Junghare, general manager (Air Traffic Management) at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport - the senior-most aerodrome official - is being charged with having furnished a fake certificate about his caste in 1985 when he joined the AAI as a trainee.

According to an investigation conducted by the AAI, Junghare belongs to the Dhobi community, which is an OBC (other backward classes) caste in Maharashtra and “not a Scheduled Tribe (ST)” as clarified by the district collector of Nagpur, from where the officer completed his education.

“We are preparing a case against the officer for committing fraud. The matter is under investigation. The action amounts to termination of service and other penalties,” AAI chief vigilance officer D.S Mishra told IANS.

When contacted, Junghare refused to identify himself on his mobile phone despite having previously picked up calls made by this correspondent.

According to an AAI official, Junghare holds immense clout with the bureaucracy and politicians in the state.

Over 92,000 government employees in Maharashtra have allegedly submitted fake caste certificates to secure jobs.

“They were offered immunity by a state government resolution passed in year 1995, which protects them from any action for having submitted fake ST certificates,” said a senior official of the Maharashtra government, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

On Sep 19, a delegation of MPs and MLAs from tribal areas led by former minister of state for home Manikrao Gavit and others met Maharashtra Governor S.C. Jamir in Mumbai and demanded cancellation of the resolution that protects the 92,000 state government employees who have submitted fake caste certificates.

“But Junghare, being from a central service, does not enjoy the immunity given to the state government employees in Maharashtra. He cannot run away from the charges. He will have to face the law sooner or later,” explained a senior AAI official.

According to the inquiry report - IANS has a copy of the statement of the articles of charges framed against the AAI officer - Junghare furnished a bogus certificate of his dead brother to boost his claim of being from a Scheduled Tribe after an inquiry was initiated against him in 2006.

The district collector of Nagpur had apparently issued the caste certificate to Junghare’s brother, Prakash Junghare, but the state government later told AAI that the certificate was fake.

The investigation conducted by the AAI further says: “He (Junghare) made a mockery of the system and crossed all limits of hiding information. He wrongly stated that he is in the process of getting information through elder members of his family. He is responsible for creating hindrances in the investigation and getting the matter delayed to save himself from punitive action.”

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