HC squashes FIR against SRM Medical College and University Chancellor
Chennai: The Madras High Court quashed the FIR against T R Pachamuthu of SRM Medical College and University in connection with a multi-crore medical admission scam following directions from the Supreme Court.
Justice MS Ramesh, before whom the case came up, said in view of the fact that the issue has now been referred back to this court from the Supreme Court, "the investigation in crime no. 143 of 2016 ... is required to be quashed, since all the claimants have given their consent through affidavits."
The petitioner has also verified these affidavits and affirms them to be genuine. Incidentally, it was the intention of the apex court to have the FIR quashed to enable the claimants to receive their respective claims after due adjudication, the judge said.
In view of the same, it would be expedient to record the disbursements made by the Court Commissioner and hence, the case needs to be adjourned for the limited purpose of recording the Commissioner's final report, the judge said.
The judge then posted the matter for recording the report of the Court Commissioner to November 30.
The matter relates to complaints filed with police by parents of medical aspirants alleging that they paid huge amounts running into crores of rupees to secure medical seats in the SRM Medical College in 2016.
The court had appointed former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court N Paul Vasanthakumar as Commissioner to disburse money to 136 claimants against which Pachamuthu filed a Special Leave petition in the apex court.
Pachamuthu, who along with film producer Madhan of 'Vendhar Movies' was allegedly involved in the admission scam, had earlier moved the high court seeking to quash the FIR on the ground that the complainants in the case had agreed to withdraw their plaint.
The money was paid allegedly to Pachamuthu through Madhan by 136 aspirants seeking medical seats. However, the seats were not given as promised and Madhan had absconded leaving behind a suicide note. He was later traced and arrested.
Pachamuthu was also arrested in the case and later released on bail after he deposited Rs 75 crore and furnished Rs 10 crore bank guarantee in the trial court.
The apex court while referring the matter again to the high court had directed all the claimants to file an affidavit to the effect that they will agree for quashing the FIR provided that their claims are settled before the high court.
When the matter came up, senior counsel for Pachamuthu submitted that in compliance with the apex court directive, the 136 claimants, as well as five additional claimants, have served copies of affidavits on the petitioner stating that they have no objection in having the FIR quashed, provided their claims are settled.
The judge while referring to the report of Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar said "...it is seen that 125 claimants out of 136 were prima facie admitted for disbursement. Among the remaining 11 claimants, 7 claimants have been referred to this court and four of the claimants could not be verified as they pertained to admission for Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Puducherry and not SRM College."
The counsel appearing on behalf of these 11 claimants submitted that they are in possession of further evidence and therefore, they may be given an opportunity to put forth their case for the purpose of re-adjudication, the court said.
As the seven claimants, who were referred by the Commissioner to the court, represented that they were in possession of few more details, they deserve "reconsideration in my view".
The judge allowed the 11 claimants to approach the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Crime Branch-II, Greater Chennai Police, Vepery, Chennai, for the purpose of further investigation into the alleged payments made for procuring seats in SRM College.
The police on receipt of such a representation shall conduct a preliminary inquiry and submit a report to the Court Commissioner within one week from the date of receipt of such complaint from any of the claimants, the court said.