Bolpur (WB), Feb 20 (PTI) A court here on Wednesday found former Visva Bharati university vice-chancellor Dilip Kumar Sinha, registrar Dilip Mukhopadhaya and mathematics teacher Mukti Dev guilty in a case of forgery and conspiracy.

Their punishment would be announced by the court on Thursday.

This would perhaps be the first time in the country that a former vice-chancellor of a university would be punished for forgery.

The crime had come to light in 2004, months after the theft of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel medal. Sinha had retired by then and the investigation was handed over to the CID.

Dev had worked as a lecturer in mathematics in the university, teaching post-graduate students for around six years, without having the required qualification.

During investigation, it was found that she had passed the higher secondary examination and had secured the teaching job at the central university in 1997 by submitting photocopies of fake testimonials at the time of joining, CID counsel Nabakumar Ghosh said.

Those photocopies were attested by Sinha, who was then the VC of the university, he added.

After Sinha’s retirement in 2001, Dev was show-caused in 2004 by the Visva Bharati executive council, which subsequently suspended and then dismissed her.

Sinha was arrested by the CID from his Kolkata residence in connection with the case in June, 2004 and subsequently, granted bail.

In March 2005, the CID had submitted the chargesheet against the trio in a Bolpur court.

Ghosh said the three were charged under Indian Penal Code sections 466 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 474 (possessing forged documents) and 469 (forgery for harming reputation).

The punishment for these sections varies between seven years in jail and life imprisonment.

All the three were present in the court on Wednesday and were taken into custody.

The prime minister is the chancellor of the university, which was founded by Tagore in 1921.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.