The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought permission from the Delhi Chief Secretary to “investigate” a senior IAS officer for allegedly selecting his wife for the post of a postgraduate teacher (PGT) despite her being “over age” and submitting “forged teaching experience certificates”. ”. Udit Prakash Rai, a 2007 batch IAS officer (AGMUT cadre), was the Director (Education), Delhi from August 2020 to October 2021.

“During enquiry, it is revealed that Udit Prakash Rai, while posted and functioning as Director (Education)… in criminal conspiracy with the office bearers of Management of Schools run by the Delhi Tamil Educational Association (DTEA) and others got selected his wife Shilpi Rai as PGT (postgraduate teacher) Biology on the basis of forged teaching experience certificates and thereby obtained undue benefit for himself as well as for his wife,” the CBI wrote to Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar earlier this month.

The agency said its “enquiry has revealed prima facie commission of cognizable offences… and the competent authority of CBI has approved registration of a regular case in the matter”.

While Rai did not respond to calls and messages seeking a comment, his wife Shilpi Rai denied any wrongdoing. “They are involving my husband and me in a false case. I have submitted the correct documents during the recruitment process… The advertisement (for the teaching vacancy) came while my husband was there (as Education Director), but he was transferred in 2021, and the hiring process started in 2022,” she said. “There was a vacancy and I fulfilled the criteria, so I applied… My husband also encouraged me to apply if I wanted to and as long as I met all the criteria. Why can’t the wife of an IAS officer apply for a government job? An inquiry is underway now.” She said she joined as a teacher in March 2022 and resigned in July 2023 due to personal reasons.

In October last year, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had ordered the termination from employment of seven teachers from DTEA schools on allegations of using forged documents, and sought a CBI inquiry into their appointment. LG House officials had, at the time, attributed the development to a recommendation to this effect by the Directorate of Vigilance.

Festive offer

According to the CBI note sent to the Chief Secretary, “Udit Prakash Rai approved the recruitment of teaching/non-teaching staff on 56 posts at DTEA schools in Delhi on June 18, 2021. Shilpi Rai, wife of Udit Prakash Rai, despite being over age, applied for the post of PGT (Biology) at DTEA schools and submitted four forged teaching experience certificates in support of her application. The said forged teaching experience certificates were got attested by Udit Prakash Rai from his subordinate officer, informing him that the same are genuine.”

“The statements of witnesses during the inquiry have shown that Rai used his influence over the members of the Staff Selection Committee to ensure the selection of his wife,” it states. “The witnesses have also confirmed that Rai used his influence over the officers of Zone 19 of Directorate of Education to ensure that grants in aid for release of salary of his wife is cleared without much scrutiny of the documents.”

“The management of DTEA schools awarded 9 marks for experience to Shilpi Rai despite the fact that the last pay certificate or certified copy of pay bill register (as per conditions of the application form) were not enclosed by her along with aforesaid forged experience teaching certificates. submitted by her with the application,” it states.

According to the CBI, “investigation into the role of Rai” is required “to confirm the above said facts”.

Apart from Shilpi Rai, the CBI’s preliminary inquiry also focused on the appointment of five other teachers. The agency’s preliminary inquiry registration report states that “the verification of experience certificates submitted by these candidates was not done properly”. It states that the appointments are “malafide and it might be possible that the appointments may have been done in collusion with the management, candidates and staff of Directorate of Education in lieu of extraneous considerations”.

Rai is currently under suspension. In April last year, the Vigilance department had issued a show cause notice to him for allegedly demolishing a 15th-century monument and building a new government accommodation in its place to move in when he was the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board.

The CBI has also sought permission to conduct an investigation against Sharad Kumar Verma, the then deputy education officer; R Raju, honorary secretary, DTEA; and Govindavel Harikrishnan, principal, DTEA Senior Secondary School, Moti Bagh.

Raju was unavailable for comment. Harikrishnan, when contacted, said, “The entire selection, examining and verification process is done by the school management… I am just a principal of one school, I am not involved in any process… I was there in the selection committee, that is why I think the name has come, but I have nothing to do in the entire process… I just follow the directions given by the management and the department.”

Verma said, “I have already given my statement to the investigating agency in March… I told them that I did not arrange any forged document for anyone… It (the document) was (from) 11 years ago and I had to countersign the experience. certificate issued by a school… I forgot to mention the zone number… I will cooperate with the investigating officials, whenever they call me for questioning.”