The education ministry probe committee has recommended imposing a travel ban on former Rajshahi University vice-chancellor Professor M Abdus Sobhan upon finding evidence of irregularities in appointing 140 officials.
Based on the probe report, the ministry dismissed the appointment of all 140 officials that Prof Sobhan had recruited just before his tenure ended.
Besides legal action against Sobhan, the probe committee also recommended cancelling the appointment of another 34 teachers, including Sobhan's son-in-law ATM Shahed Parvez and daughter Sanjana Sobhan, who had been appointed last year breaching the law.
The committee submitted its report to the ministry on Sunday.
Prof Md Alamgir, head of the probe committee and a member of the University Grants Commission (UGC), told The Business Standard that the appointments of the 140 officials had been made unlawfully.
"Professor Sobhan cannot do that. We have submitted the report to the education ministry and recommended taking actions against him as he had violated the rules and regulations," he said.
ATM Shahed Parvez, a lecturer at the Institute of Business Administration of the university, was the main accomplice of Sobhan while Deputy Registrar Yousuf Ali and Assistant Deputy Registrar Mamun-or-Rashid helped the former vice-chancellor complete the appointments, the probe report said.
It criticised the two pro-VCs and the treasurer for their silent role in the illegal appointments.
Shahed told The Business Standard he was a victim of the blame game. "I had no role and fault in the appointments. But the UGC and others blamed me as I am Sobhan's son-in law."
Yousuf could not be reached for comment on the matter.
On 6 May, which was Sobhan's last day in office, he appointed the 140 officials. The Rajshahi University unit and Rajshahi municipality unit of Chhatra League clashed over the appointments on that day.
Mamun-or-Rashid and Assistant Registrar Tarikul Islam were injured in the clash, and the incident caused a stir across the country.
The education ministry instantly declared the appointments illegal and formed a four-member probe committee, asking it to submit the report within seven working days.
Other members of the committee are UGC member Professor D Abu Taher, Joint Secretary (Secondary and Higher Education Division) Md Jakir Hossain, and Director of the UGC's Public University Division Muhammad Jaminur Rahman.
Sobhan's last year's irregularities
The UGC last year also found evidence of irregularities committed by Sobhan in appointing some officials. He ignored educational qualifications of the appointees during recruitment, which tarnished the university's image.
Sobhan changed the appointment policy to recruit teachers, officials, and staff members, said the UGC.
Citing the Rajshahi University Teachers Appointment Policy 2015, a UGC probe committee at the time also sought an order to cancel the appointments of 34 unqualified teachers, who had been appointed through nepotism and irregularities.
Following the probe report, the education ministry dismissed the appointments of all officials, who had been recruited violating rules and regulations.
Professor Dr Dil Afroza Begum, a member of the UGC, said the commission's probe report had recommended taking actions against Sobhan for his irregularities at that time, but the ministry had not done so.
Prof Syed Anwar Husain, a noted educationist, said the government should appoint skilled, honest, and qualified teachers as vice-chancellors of public universities instead of considering candidates' political affiliation.
He said vice-chancellors should be brought to book if evidence of irregularities and corruption was found against them.
This, he said, would end the culture of impunity.
"The government should form a committee comprising learned professors to appoint vice-chancellors. I believe they will choose the right persons and this will help curb such irregularities in future," he added.