Harmanpreet Kaur, T20 International captain of India Women, stands to lose her job as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Punjab, with her degree turning out to be fake.
The Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut has said the degree certificate furnished by her for the job had not been issued by it.
Prof Sanjay Bharadwaj, head of the vigilance cell of the university, confirmed that Harmanpreet was never enrolled with the university.
Harmanpreet, who is from Moga, had joined the Punjab Police as a DySP on March 1, this year. She was appointed to the post through sports quota for her achievements in cricket.
A Bachelor’s degree is mandatory for the post, and the cricketer had submitted one purported to have been issued by CCSU in 2011.
The Punjab Police had approached the CCS University for verification of her educational certificates and found her testimonials not to be correct.
Speaking to The Statesman, Prof Bharadwaj said an officer from Jalandhar had approached CCSU in April this year for verification of the Bachelor of Arts degree of Harmanpreet Kaur purported to have been issued in 2011. During an investigation by the vigilance cell, he said, it was found that the student was not enrolled with the university. “We had then informed the officer in this regard,” he said.
According to CSU officials, thousands of mark sheets and degrees are verified from different departments of the university as a routine procedure. “These come to the vigilance cell, which has a set procedure to verify these documents,” said Prof Bharadwaj.
Confidentiality is maintained as these documents are checked, after which the cell also verifies if the student concerned was enrolled with the university. In case the student is not enrolled, the document related to marks or degree is declared fake.
The revelation regarding Harmanpreet Kaur’s degree may invite trouble for the 29-year-old ace cricketer as far as her job in the Punjab Police is concerned.
The police department is learnt to have written to the state’s home department, headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, saying Harmanpreet could not continue as a DySP in the absence of a genuine graduation degree.
When contacted, Harmanpreet refused to comment on the matter but said she was ready to face any probe.
The ace cricketer from Punjab was conferred with the prestigious Arjun Award in 2017. She made her debut in international cricket in 2009. Harmanpreet was also part of the Indian squad in the 2017 Women’s World Cup where she scored an unbeatable 177 runs off 115 balls in the semi-final against Australia — the highest individual score for India in the Women’s World Cup history.
After this particular performance, the Punjab CM had offered the DySP post to Harmanpreet, who was then employed with the Western Railway with which she had signed a five-year bond.
WR had not accepted her resignation last year as she had to pay back five years’ salary as per the terms of the bond. Harmanpreet had completed only three years of service with WR. Amarinder had then taken up her case with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal so that she could join the Punjab Police.
This is not the first time Punjab Police has faced such a case. In February, the CM ordered removal of the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and two-time Asian Games (2010 and 2014) gold medalist Mandeep Kaur from DySP’s post. She had been appointed in 2016.
Mandeep had submitted her graduation degree purportedly to have been acquired from an institute affiliated to Sikkim University, and the state police had found her degree fake.