It's time for Kri'at Hatorah (public Torah reading) on a Monday. The shul's regular Ba'al Kri'ah is absent, and no one else in the shul can read from the Torah - not even the rabbi. It is not just a question of not knowing the trope or pronouncing the words - they can't read the Hebrew writing in the Torah.
The rabbi appoints someone from the minyan and says, "You will open the Torah and while I read from a Chumash with trope, you'll repeat after me and follow along in the Torah." And this is how the Torah reading is done that day.
Is this halachically acceptable for public Torah reading? It seems that the "reader" wasn't actually reading; he was just mimicking what the rabbi was saying and the Torah was there as a prop.
Instead of the mimicking, would it have been better just to skip the Torah reading altogether? If this was not a halchically acceptable method, did those who received aliyot make a bracha levatalah (blessing in vain)?
To clarify b/c of comments: - My browser won't let me add comments, and, in this case, it's better to edit the question):
The rabbi stands on the side of the Torah table with the Chumash. Another stands in front of an open Torah holding the yad- the reader. Person getting the aliyah makes the bracha. The reader opens the Torah. The rabbi reads a few words from his chumash with the trope. The reader repeats exactly what the rabbi said - the words and the trope. But the reader is not moving the yad and not following any of the words in the Torah itself. He knows where the parsha starts, but has no idea, when looking in the Torah where the pasuk ends, or where the sequence of words that the rabbi said ends. In short, the open Torah is there as a "prop". He's not really reading any words from the Torah as a normal B'al Kri'ah would.