Kerla: SR Educational and Charitable Trust, Chairman, R. Shaji, one of the accused in the medical college bribery case, involving a few BJP leaders, retracting on his earlier statement has told the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau that the money he paid was not a bribe.
Shaji had earlier made a statement that he had paid Rs. 6.50 crore to RS Vinod, the former BJP Convenor, Cooperation Cell, to get the apex education regulator, the Medical Council of India’s approval for his medical college.
An earlier report by the Medical Dialogues team on the issue stated that the party’s core committee and state leaders’ who had met to discuss the issue in detail had concluded that it was a “clear case of cheating” done by an individual and the party would not protect the wrong doer.
The leaders stated that the party’s hands were clean and it was ready to cooperate with the vigilance enquiry ordered by the state government, BJP national executive member P S Sreedharan Pillai and state general secretary, K Surendran told reporters after the meeting. “It is a cheating case committed by a party worker and the crime was done neither with the knowledge nor support of the party,” the leaders said.
Read more at Medical Dialogues: MCI approval scam: BJP calls it cheating,VigilanceProbe begins .
Shaji’s earlier statement given to the Vigilance, admits to having transferred money to Satish Nair, a Delhi based businessman. However, this admission by him was later denied to the media, when he said the money was given as’ a consultancy charge and not bribe.’
Shaji had earlier also denied giving money to Satish, saying that it was Satish who first offered to help. He further admitted to the fact that he had not contacted RS Vinod in his capacity of a BJP leader, but as a local contact of Satish Nair.
He also denied the entire monetary transaction having anything to do with the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. He said that he had not mentioned BJP State General Secretary MT Ramesh’s name when the BJP’s Internal Committee had enquired about it .
He however, consented to have handed over money to Satish through Vinod, and asked him to return the amount, when he failed to fulfill the task. He however, admitted that Satish did not return the money to him.
The incident came to light when a report filed by a two member team constituting of KP Sreesan and AK Nazeer, submitted to the state leaders was leaked to the media. The leak led to termination of RS Vinod by the BJP state leadership. The leak also led to MT. Ramesh, State General Secretary ‘s BJPs name being linked to the financial scam reports The New Minute.
According to Shaji Ramesh’s name got mentioned in the report after the Committee questioned him about how such a large sum of money had been transferred to Vinod.
In reply to this Shaji recalls having said that he was convinced after he was told that Satish Nair had been instrumental in getting recognition for several other medical colleges .
When asked to confirm whether he was told that MT Ramesh had been instrumental in helping a Dr. Nasar to get an MCI sanction for a medical college in Palakkad, he denies it vehemently now.