The bank accounts of Madhav University, which is situated near Abu Road, have been seized by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), in a fake degree scam related investigation. Transactions worth crores of rupees were done in the accounts of Madhav University in the last 15 days.
Madhav University is a sister concern of Manav Bharti University, which is situated in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. The admin block of Madhav University was sealed in March 2020.
As per ASP Solan, Shiv Kumar, the SIT arrested Raj Kumar Rana, the chairman of Manav Bharti University on 19 June. The arrest was made immediately after the Himachal Pradesh court refused his bail application. Rana has been charged with issuing fake degrees and the fraud is in crores. The case was registered a few weeks before the lockdown and Rana had sent his wife and son abroad on March 7, as soon as the case was registered. Further action was delayed due to the lockdown.
What is the fake degree case against Rana - Fake degree scam was unearthed in February 2020
The University Grants Commission received an anonymous call informing the regulator of the sale of nearly 5 lac fake degrees by two universities in Himachal Pradesh - Manav Bharti University (Solan) and APG University (Simla). The state government, on receiving suitable action request from UGC, instructed SIT to carry out the investigations. On March 3, a case under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC was registered against the universities and its officials for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
In the investigations, it was revealed that the two universities, along with Madhav University, had issued several fake degrees. Not only this, even Rana and his family members possessed fake degrees.
SIT filed a cases against MBU in Datia, Delhi, Lucknow, BIlaspur and Pune. SIT also wrote to the bar councils and to various institutions in the country, informing them of the fake degrees. Various job appointments have been made in the government as well as public and private sector on the basis of these fake degrees.
Investigation shifts to Rajasthan - the Madhav University connection
When Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur informed the state assembly that Rana had opened Madhav University at Abu Road near Udaipur, the investigation shifted to Rajasthan. Police recovered 1,376 empty degrees, 14 stamps, four dispatch registers, 50 migration certificates, 199 empty envelopes, 485 blank letterheads, 319 blank detail marks cards, two compputers and six filled degrees from the administration block of Madhav University. Since then the administration block of Madhav University has been sealed.
Document and material recovered from Manav Bharti University
SIT recovered piles of degrees of unauthorised courses, unchecked as well as solved answer sheets bearing no names from the MBU campus. A 24 hour raid personally supervised by IG (South) Asif Jalal resulted in the recovery of hard discs of computers, laptop, pen drives, stamps and other documents. 305 mark sheets, some of them signed for the period 2009 to 2015 were found buried under piles of waste. 15 degrees were also seized along with the above material.
Arrests made in the case over the last 4 months
While Raj Kumar Rana's arrest was the fourth arrest in this case, former registrar of MBU, KK Singh was arrested in the second week of June. Two MBU officials, registrar Anupama Thakur and assistant registrar Munish Goel were arrested earlier in March, before the COVID lockdown. Anupama Thakur was arrested after her bail plea was rejected, as per Solan SP, Abhishek Yadav.
Data entry operator Pramod Kumar was also arrested from his village two days after Munish Goel was arrested.
Other Universities under the fake degree scam scanner
Fake degree scam complaints have been received for 18 universities, including Manav Bharti University, Solan; APG University, Simla; New Era Institute of Hotel Management, Dharamsaa; Indus University, Bathu; among others.
Manav Bharti University was established in 2009 under the Himachal Pradesh Private University (establishment and regulation) Act and is owned by Manav Bharti Charitable Trust.