PATNA (Web Desk) – The Patna high court asked the Vigilance Investigation Bureau (VIB) to inquire into appointment of many primary and middle school teachers who allegedly used fake degrees to get jobs in government schools across the state.

The state government on Tuesday informed the Patna high court that about 3,000 teachers having fake degrees had resigned from the service and the vigilance department had found another 353 certificates to be invalid, Hindustan Times reported.

Of the 3,000 teachers, 1,660 had resigned under the ‘ general amnesty’ scheme, initiated on the orders of the court, principal additional advocate general Lalit Kishore told the division bench of chief justice L Narasimha Reddy and justice Anjana Mishra.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ranjeet Pandit and others complaining that more than 25,000 teachers having invalid degrees were working in different government schools across the state.

Kishore said the vigilance inquiry was still on and the sleuths had gone to Raipur, Hazaribag, Guwahati and New Delhi for verification of certificates. Additional personnel had also been provided to the vigilance department for speedy probe into the matter, he added.

The court later posted the matter for further monitoring after four weeks.

Considering the magnitude of the fraud involved, the court had on June 22 proposed that teachers holding fake degrees would be offered general amnesty if they resigned voluntarily. It directed the government to publish a notice in this regard and said the teachers resigning within 15 days of the announcement would be exempted any penal action.

Any person, if found to be working with fake certificate after the expiry of the general amnesty, would be prosecuted for cheating, the court had said, adding that the entire amount paid to him would be recovered, “if necessary, by selling his property,” and disqualify him from further employment in any government organisation. On July 13, Kishore told the court that 1,271 teachers had resigned since the publication of the notice.

Thereafter, on July 14, the court extended the amnesty deadline by two weeks.

The court had ordered a vigilance inquiry into the matter on May 18 after it was informed that certificates of nearly three lakh teachers were yet to be verified.