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After being sacked, ISCE chairman alleged his removal was illegal

November 15, 2014


A resolution to the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) still seems far off. A day after the chairman of the council Father Jose Aikara was sacked on charges of financial irregularities and other violations, he alleged that his removal was illegal. The board's secretary Gerry Arathoon denied his allegations. The board has appointed a new chairperson but the uncertainly continues. The spat between Arathoon and Aikara started in April this year when Arathoon was sent a show-cause notice saying that a large number of schools had complained against him, alleging that he was forcing them to prescribe books written by his wife. The notice also outlines how members of the council or their families cannot engage in any trade or business or write books without the permission of the committee. In his reply, Arathoon noted that the rule was faulty and unjust but also accepted his mistake and apologized. He also offered to take post-facto permission, something that he said the committee has the powers to allow. Arathoon was then placed under suspension as Aikara said he wanted to investigate Arathoon's role further. He was reinstated by the executive committee in October. The decision to keep probing the matter is what seems to have ticked off the executive committee, with some of them questioning why he was spending so much money on the enquiry when Arathoon had accepted his mistake and apologized. Arathoon also alleged that it would be wrong to say that he had hidden the fact that his wife was writing guidebooks that can be used by ICSE students. "Technically he (Aikara) is right that I have not taken written permission but what about the verbal permission he had given. He as the chairman himself released the books in front of over a thousand principals at Kochi at a dinner organized by Evergreen publishers and released the books in 2013," Arathoon said.

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