Vol. 5 Num 981 Sun. March 04, 2007  
Front Page

Mark Sheet Tampering
CU cancels certificates of Judge Faizee, 2,350 others

Chittagong University (CU) syndicate yesterday cancelled the LLB certificate of Judge Faisal Mahmud Faizee and 70 others on charge of tampering with their mark sheets, asking them to immediately return their certificates.

A meeting of the university syndicate, which also cancelled the graduation certificate of around 2,350 examinees on the same offence, decided to refer the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for taking necessary actions against the accused.

Sources present at the meeting told The Daily Star that the syndicate also unanimously decided to lodge a case.

The daylong 439th meeting of the syndicate was convened following submission of the report on the allegation of tampering with LLB mark sheets.

A committee headed by former pro-vice chancellor Prof Md Shamsuddin Ahmed probed the matter.

"The marks of Judge Faizee were found to be tampered with on the tabulation sheet. So, the certificate he has taken is fake. The office of the examination controller will communicate this matter formally with him," said CU Syndicate member Dr Sultan Ahmed.

Fellow syndicate member Prof Helal Nizami meanwhile said the ACC will now investigate how Faizee obtained certificate through fraudulence.

He also said the syndicate has cancelled certificates of around 2,350 of 2,400 students on charges of tampering documents in eight categories. The rest 40-50 students passed their courses by passing subsidiary subjects, he said.

"The syndicate decided to publish a gazette notification containing the roll numbers of these 40-50 examinees," he said.

The university authority will write to the ACC to take legal steps against those involved in certificate tampering, Prof Nizami said.

The syndicate discussed at length the reports of three probe committees headed by Prof Shamsuddin, Prof Abu Saleh and Prof MA Hakim.

Prof Shamsuddin conducted further investigations on previous two reports submitted by Prof Saleh and Prof Hakim at the 336th and 353rd syndicate meetings and found similar proofs of tampering with certificates, Nizami said.

Quoting from Shamsuddin's report, he said tampering of certificates was done in eight categories but the CU authorities did not implement the suggestions placed by the heads of those two committees.

The categories include showing examinees passed in gazette while they actually failed as per tabulation sheet, showing examinees passed although they did not sit subsidiary examinations, showing examinees passed although they did not appear in preliminary exams, and overwriting or scrubbing.

"There was no coordination between the authorities concerned and the office of the controller of examination for taking effective action as per recommendations of the two committees put forward at the 336th and 353rd syndicate meetings," Nizami said.

The meeting was chaired by Vice-Chancellor Prof Badiul Alam.

Press reports: Two major dailies Prothom Alo and Bhorer Kagoj reported on October 30, 2004 that Faizee, one of the 19 additional judges appointed on August 23, 2004, had tampered with his mark sheet of Muslim Law examinations he sat from Chittagong Law College in 1989. A Chittagong University (CU) enquiry committee formed on April 25, 1996 revealed the fraud.

Bar protest: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in an unprecedented move that day asked Judge Faizee to stand down admitting the allegation.

As the bench of Justice Mohammad Ali Asgar Khan and Judge Faizee sat for the day, Bar Secretary Bashir Ahmed accompanied by a group of lawyers rushed to the court and drew the judges' attention to press reports about the fraud.

The secretary told the court that Judge Faizee should not sit on any bench on moral grounds.

The Bar leaders then met with then chief justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain at his chamber and urged him to withdraw Faizee, otherwise they would boycott Faizee's court.

The Bar at an emergency meeting in the afternoon unanimously decided to boycott the bench of Judge Faizee if he is not withdrawn.

Faizee withdrawn: The chief justice withdrew Faizee on October 31, 2004.

Justice Asgar Khan, senior member of Faizee's bench, also declined to sit with Faizee and conveyed the decision to the chief justice the same day.

The chief justice told the SC lawyers that Faizee would no more be allowed to sit on the bench. He also gave the full responsibility of the bench upon Justice Asgar.

Senior SC lawyers and Bar leaders met the chief justice and citing Faizee's fraud expressed their unwillingness to attend his court. A few lawyers suggested not allowing Faizee to sit on the bench until the issue is resolved. The chief justice agreed.

Bar sent documents to CJ: The SCBA on November 1, 2004 sent to the chief justice some documents in support of the allegations of tampering with examination results against Faizee.

The chief justice at a meeting with the SCBA leaders and senior lawyers had said he would ask the CU authorities for providing Faizee's exam documents. Barrister Rokon told the chief justice that he already had the documents and that he would send them over to him.

The documents included a report of a CU enquiry committee on the corruption in the law examinations results of 111 students including that of Faizee, a university syndicate decision to withhold Faizee's result, and documents of allegations brought against Faizee by the Chittagong Lawyers' Association.

Faizee absent at court: Faizee did not go to the High Court on November 1, 2004, a day after he was withdrawn from the bench. He went on a seven-day leave.

CU moves against 2,400 examinees: The CU authorities took action against 2,400 examinees found involved in tampering with mark sheets and results.

"A probe body detected the irregularities in LLB, BA, subsidiary and BA honours examinations results during 1983-1994 period," Mofakkharul Islam Khan, then CU controller of examinations, told The Daily Star on November 2, 2004.

Last CU probe committee: After press disclosure of the scandal, the CU authority on November 9, 2004 formed a probe committee headed by professor of political science Dr Abdul Hakim. But he resigned from the committee on November 28, 2004 for "personal reasons".

Later on November 30, the syndicate formed a fresh committee headed by then pro-vice chancellor Prof Md Shamsuddin Ahmed. The committee members were Prof Sirajul Islam, dean of arts faculty and a teacher of English, Prof Morshed Mahmud Khan, dean of law faculty, Dr Nurul Mostafa, chairman of computer science, and Prof Kazi Mostain Billah, a teacher of English.

The committee submitted its report a few months ago.

Ctg Bar probe committees: Chittagong Bar Association also formed two committees to probe the scandal.

"The probe bodies will sort out the names of the lawyers engaged in practice with fake certificates," then Bar president Ibrahim Hossain Babul said.

"We will ask them to bring no objection certificates from the Chittagong University authorities within one week. If they fail, we will not allow them to continue practising and their names will be sent to the Bar Council for cancellation of their enrolment," he added.

Meanwhile, some 20 lawyers of Chittagong Court had also stopped coming to the court following press reports on the result scandal of 110 lawyers.

Bar decision to ask Faizee to show cause: The Bar Council at an executive committee meeting on November 4, 2004 decided to serve a show cause notice on Faizee asking him to explain in seven days why action would not be taken against him for providing false information while obtaining council's certificate.

Age controversy: Another controversy was created when Faizee was found to have tampered with his age for securing lawyer's enrolment certificate from the Bar Council.

Scrutinising Faizee's documents, the council revealed on November 6, 2004 that he gave his date of birth as September 15, 1965 although his SSC certificate shows the date as September 15, 1963.

The two dailies faced contempt charges: The HC on November 8, 2004 issued a rule on Daily Prothom Alo and Daily Bhorer Kagoj asking them to explain why contempt proceedings should not be drawn against them for running reports on Faizee's tampering with his LLB results.

The rule also asked the newspapers to reply to the rule in two weeks why they should not be punished for maligning the HC through the reports.

The division bench of justices MA Matin and AFM Abdur Rahman issued the rule following a contempt petition filed by Faizee's father Mohammed Faiz.

Ctg Bar probe found 40 lawyers: Chittagong Bar Association's probe bodies identified over 40 lawyers practising in the district who had doctored their mark sheets and certificates of LLB examinations.

Then president of Chittagong Bar Ibrahim Hossain Babul told journalists that the probe bodies have listed some 40 lawyers out of 111, including Faizee, who had earlier been listed as accused of tampering with mark sheets.

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