Puducherry medical admission scam: CBI books Health Secy, CENTAC Chairman, College officials
Puducherry: The CBI has booked two IAS officers -- Puducherry's health secretary B R Babu and Central Admission Committee (CENTAC) chairman Narendra Kumar -- and 11 government officials and private medical college administrators in connection with alleged irregularities in admission to postgraduate medical courses.
Besides Babu and Kumar, other government officials booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are Puducherry health and family welfare director Raman, CENTAC convenor V Govindraj, joint convenor K Pajaniradja and coordinator Jonathan Daniel.
Officials of three self-financing medical colleges and four deemed medical universities have also been booked.
According to a recent CBI FIR, "the accused officers cheated bona fide students who were issued provisional admission certificate during counselling by the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC)" but were later denied the seats they were allocated.
It is alleged by the CBI that the public servants abused their official position, entered into criminal conspiracy with private hospital officials and cheated bona fide students in the admission process in 2017.
The accused conspired and cheated the bona fide students, by giving admission to ineligible candidates after collecting "exorbitant admission fee", it alleged.
It is alleged that the public servants failed to implement proper admission procedures and helped the management of medical colleges by abusing their official position.
Medical college officials named in the FIR include Rajagoplan (Managing Director, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute), Ganesan (Managing Director, Aarupadaiveedu Medical College and Hospital), and Ponniyin Selvan (Registrar, Vinayaka Missions Medical College).
Anbu (Managing Director, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences), Dhanasekaran (Managing Director, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital), Anil Jacob Purti (Registrar, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences), and Ramachandran (Managing Director, Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre) have also been named as accused in the CBI FIR.
According to the CBI FIR, 96 eligible students could not get admission because of the conspiracy.
The FIR alleged that the colleges admitted students not sponsored by CENTAC, by taking fees ranging from Rs 40-50 lakh.
It is alleged that though CENTAC issued provisional admission certificates, no efforts were made by Kumar, Raman and Babu to verify the number of students who had not joined the courses.
Also, vacancies arising due to refusal of seven medical colleges to admit students, who were issued provisional admission certificates by CENTAC, were not considered for the second round of counselling, it alleged.
While calculating the vacancy position, it was shown by the CENTAC counselling authorities -- Govindaraj, Pajaniradja and Jonathan Daniel -- on the CENTAC website that all the students who have issued with provisional admission certificates were admitted in the colleges, the FIR alleged.
The fee committee had revised the fee substantially which could be charged from the government quota and management quota students by the three self-financing colleges, it alleged.
It said four deemed universities also refused to admit bona fide students in spite of orders of the Madras High Court and admitted students not sponsored by CENTAC by taking huge fee.
Medical colleges in Puducherry have 318 postgraduate and diploma seats in medicine, of which 162 are under government quota and the rest 156 are earmarked as management seats, the CBI FIR says.
The process of counselling for 2017-18 was conducted by the CENTAC, under the guidance of the health ministry, Puducherry Government, it said.
It said the first phase of counselling was conducted by CENTAC on May 4 and 11, and the second phase on May 19.