Chennai: A former Vice Chancellor of the State Medical University has been booked for a corruption trial. H was booking business class tickets for foreign travel on behalf of the university, and later cancelling them to travel by economy and pocketing the differential amount.
A special court here has chosen to interpret these acts as corrupt practices under the Prevention of Corruption Act,1988, and has decided not to discharge him without a trial.
Meer Mustafa Hussain, 65, a former vice-chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR University between November 27, 2006 and November 26, 2009, attended conferences in London ,Norway, and Australia in 2007 and 2008.
According to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption (DVAC), Hussain misappropriated the differential amount after cancelling business class tickets and later booking economy class tickets. He allegedly cheated the state government by concealing the fact that he travelled economy class.
It is believed that he drew advances from the university’s funds for booking tickets and later receiving pecuniary advantage, committed forgery,DVAC said.
After the DVAC filed a final report, charging him with committing offences punishable under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery for cheating), 468 (forgery of a valuable security) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC, Hussain moved the trial court to get a case discharged.
Hussain said he was a diabetic who had undergone angioplasty and also suffered a hip fracture.
He denied having submitted false travelling allowance bills for visits to foreign countries. According to him his health did not allow him to travel business class therefore he was forced to travel economy by cancelling tickets to the former. He revealed that he had submitted genuine TA documents and did not cause any loss to the university .
Bringing to light the fact that the DVAC had registered the case after an excessive delay of six years, he further revealed that there was also a delay of two years in witness examination. These grounds he felt were appropriate for discharge.
The DVAC however argued that the man should not be discharged as there was incriminating evidence against him and they should be given an opportunity to examine the witnesses and conduct a fair trial.
S Kanchana, Judge, Special Court, Dismissing Hussain’s petition, for cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, said: “In the present case, the statement of the witnesses and the documents establish a prima facie case…Hence, the contention raised by Hussain does not merit acceptance,” reports TOI.