Bengaluru: Senior Officials of the renowned MVJ Medical College affiliated with Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), have been granted anticipatory bail by Karnataka High Court in a case that alleged that the medical college management took signed blank cheques from students and then misappropriated their stipend money. The medical college administration moved the HC following the allegations by an MD medico accusing it of syphoning money, which was payable to Post-Graduate medicos as stipends/scholarships.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the said accusations which brushed upon the senior management of the medical college including Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, Principal, Medical Superintendent and Chief Casualty Medical Officer.
The matter came to light when one Dr Prashanta G Koppal, who completed his MD in General Medicine from the MVJ medical college, filed an FIR with the Hoskote police, accusing the top administration officials of the medical college of syphoning money owed to students over the last three years.
He had alleged that the college management had forced him and other PG medicos in his batch, to sign blank cheques and took their ATM cards while allegedly threatening them that if they don’t comply with the demands, it may ruin their future.
Dr Koppal had gotten a seat in the General Medicine course in the year 2015 along with 36 students. Another 14 students were enrolled in the Diploma course.
According to directives passed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the university that the medical college functions under, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences; the college should have paid each student, a house surgeon, Rs 12,50,000 as a stipend for three years. For this purpose, the medical college was directed to open a savings account for each of the students.
However, the medical college allegedly didn’t abide by with the orders of the top authorities, on top they allegedly forced the students to sign blank cheques and confiscated their ATM cards, the complaint stated adding that the students were threatened that they would not be allowed to continue the course if they raised objections.
Dr Koppal took this action after all the students passed out in May this year.
Meanwhile, another graduate claimed that when he complained to the bank, he was advised not to report this given that his academic career was at stake. The students stated that they had also approached RGUHS on the matter.
In the midst of all these accusations of syphoning at least Rs 25 crore, the medical college management feared arrest in the case. Hence, it moved the HC and applied for anticipatory bail.
According to a recent report by Mirror, during the hearing, the counsel for the management contended that there was an “inordinate delay of three years in filing the complaint.” The signature on the blank cheques was allegedly obtained in 2015 but the complaint was filed only on October 5, 2018. There was also no allegation of “fraudulent acts and cheating by the Management of the College,” it was contended before the HC.
Stating that arrest in the case should be the last option, the HC granted anticipatory bail to all the management members. The HC held,
“The submissions made by the counsel and records furnished along with the petition goes to prove the apprehension of the petitioners. Normally arrest should be the last option. It should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative. The offences alleged are not punishable for death or life imprisonment. During the arguments, counsel submitted that management is ready to look into the matter regarding payment of stipend or scholarship. In view of the submission made and grounds urged by the counsel, I am of the view that the petition deserves to be allowed.”