Thursday, September 21, 2017

Medical admissions scam: CBI arrests retired Odisha high court judge

Retired Orissa High Court judge among 5 arrested by CBI in corruption case
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested five persons, including a retired Odisha high court judge, for enabling private medical colleges to admit students to MBBS courses despite a Supreme Court order barring them from doing so.

The agency placed under arrest retired high court justice Ishrat Masroor Quddusi, a middleman Biswanath Agrawala, owners of private medical college - BP Yadav and Palash Yadav, and a hawala operator Ram Dev Saraswat in connection with the case. It had earlier booked them under charges of criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

After registering an FIR against Quddusi and four other accused, the CBI had conducted raids at eight locations in Delhi, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

CBI sleuths recovered Rs 1.91 crore during the raids, including at Quddusi's residencein south Delhi's Greater Kailash.

Quddusi has been accused of not only legally guiding the functionaries of private medical college but also assured favourable settlement of their case in the Supreme Court.

The agency had received an information that Prasad Institute of Medical College was among 46 colleges barred by the government from admitting medical students for the forthcoming one or two years because of substandard facilities and non-fulfilment of the required criteria.

B P Yadav and Palash Yadav, who run the institute, had challenged the debarment in the Supreme Court earlier this year.

On August 1, the SC directed the government to consider the materials on record afresh, pertaining to the issue of confirmation or otherwise of the letter of permission granted to the petitioner college.
The government then afforded an opportunity of hearing to the college and passed a reasoned decision on August 10, 2017 to debar the college from admitting fresh students for the two years - 2017-18 and 2018-19 and also authorised MCI to encash the bank guarantees of Rs two crores.
CBI received information that B P Yadav got in touch with Justice (retd) I M Quddusi and Bhawana Pandey through one Sudhir Giri of Venkateshwara Medical College in Meerut and conspired for getting the matter settled.

"Information further revealed that on the advice of I M Quddusi, the petition was withdrawn from the apex court on August 15, 2017 and a petition was filed in in Allahabad High Court," said CBI in its FIR.

Investigating agencies have also lodged an FIR against two IAS officers serving in Puducherry - former health secretary B R Babu and Narendra Kumar, who headed the committee looking after admissions to medical colleges - for allegedly denying admissions to deserving students and selling seats to others at "exorbitant" rates

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