Fifty-one employees of the University of Madras are facing disciplinary proceedings for alleged irregularities and malpractices in last year's examination.

Controller of Examinations T. Leo Alexander, whose name also figures in the list, has given up the additional responsibility of Registrar-in-charge he had been holding for over a year, citing personal reasons.

A third committee constituted to probe the irregularities in B.E./B.Tech and distance education exams in May 2011 had implicated Mr. Alexander in its report submitted to the Syndicate on May 31.

The exams were conducted for arrear students who had studied a decade ago.

Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam said that Mr. Alexander had submitted a letter with a request to relieve him from the Registrar (in-charge) post as he could not cope with the additional burden. “Accepting his request, we have relieved him of the Registrar's post.”

The university has appointed its senior-most professor, G. Koteswara Prasad, as Registrar (in-charge) until a permanent registrar is appointed.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Alexander was instrumental in unravelling the 2011 exam malpractices. After a tip-off from him, Mr. Thiruvasagam ordered a departmental enquiry, which found prima facie evidence of irregularities.

The university then constituted a Syndicate Committee headed by Prof. S. Karunanidhi, which recommended the filing of charge sheets against 30 officials, including seven superintendents at exam centres under Rule 17(B) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules – invoked in cases of major offences – and others under Rule 17 (A), used to deal with lesser offences.

To frame charges, a four-member committee with K. Subburaj as convener and comprising a former DGP and two senior officials from the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department, was constituted.

After scrutinising the records for over 40 days and questioning the employees named in the previous committee report in about 30 sittings, the committee submitted its report to the Syndicate on May 31. Finding the involvement of 21 more persons, including Mr. Alexander, in the exam irregularities, the committee framed charges under Rule 17(B) against them.

“A single individual can't be accused. It is a joint responsibility. It involved tampering of records (mark sheets). Therefore, charges can be framed only under 17(B),” said a committee member on condition of anonymity.

However, it is not the end of the road for these employees against whom charges have been framed. “Each one will have an opportunity to prove his innocence before an inquiry officer [in this case K. Aludiapillai, a retired IAS officer and former vice-chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University],” he adds.

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