PTU Scam: Exam racket finds no mention in FIR | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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PTU Scam: Exam racket finds no mention in FIR

chandigarh Updated: Oct 30, 2012 11:56 IST
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Hindustan Times
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The Kapurthala Police had on Friday claimed to have busted an examination racket operational in Punjab Technical University (PTU). The cops, however, not only didn't mention the fact in the FIR registered on October 23 against the Gugnani brothers after a month-long inquiry but also "framed" the duo for allegedly using forged documents to grant approval to a learning centre, HT investigations revealed.

Inderbir Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP), during a joint press conference with PTU vice-chancellor Rajneesh Arora, had claimed that a well-organised racket was being operated by Ajesh and Sanjeev Gugnani to cheat the university's examination system. "They used to cheat students, charge fee higher than that specified by the university and used to made false promises to them about facilitating unfair means (to pass exams)," Inderbir had claimed.

"The complaint of misappropriation of university fee was also reported. A detailed inquiry was conducted by DSP Paramjeet Singh in this regard. Eight learning centres had accused them of charging money higher than the prescribed norms," the SSP had added.

The examination racket findings, however, were never made part of the FIR and were being seen as a planned plot to "fix" the Gugnani brothers to suit vested interests.

Official approval
Paramjeet Singh, in his inquiry report, had concluded that on July 17, the Gugnani brothers had forged official documents to issue a letter of approval to Globsyn Business School, Kolkata, to act as the university's learning centre. "Such approval can only be granted by the university authorities, which inspected their record up to September 20 to find that no such application to open a new learning centre was received. They had violated the prescribed norms," he added.

Ironically, Globsyn Business School had been accorded approval by then dean (distance education) RP Singh on September 11, 2008 (Hindustan Times is in possession of the approval letter). The school was approved to run BBA, MBA, MCA and post-graduate diploma in business management courses.

Hasty action
Such was the haste to "frame" the Gugnani brothers that the police team didn't even examine promoters of that learning centre to ascertain the facts. Besides, the investigator didn't check the PTU record on his own; he relied on the university's submission on this count for obvious reasons.

The DSP also concluded that Ajesh Gugnani deceived learning centres and extorted money from them on the threat of closing their operations in violation of terms of the agreement. "Ajesh Gugnani extorted huge money from learning centres in the name of Vistaar Add Com, an advertisement agency, while not depositing the amount with PTU," he alleged, recommending the registration of a case against four persons and promoters of Vistaar Add Com. The SSP gave his nod to register the FIR on October 23.

'It's a frame-up'
Ajesh Gugnani, speaking to Hindustan Times on the phone, said, "The DSP concealed allegations levelled against me about the approval granted to Globsyn Business School, Kolkata. Had he discussed the issue with me, I would have provided him relevant documents to prove that the centre was already operational. Matrix Infosys, PTU's regional centre, had issued this centre a letter stating that courses being offered were duly approved by the competent authority. The facts were distorted to frame me," he alleged.

Ajesh Gugnani also contested PTU's claims on collecting money from learning centres to release advertisements in newspapers without consulting the university. "The office order issued by the PTU on January 6, 2011, stated that the advertisements are to be released by the regional centre in consultation with learning centres. There is no role for the university to play in this regard," he added.

Vice-chancellor Arora and registrar HS Bains were not available for comment despite repeated attempts, while public relations officer Rajneesh Sharma said he would get back on the issue after consulting them.

Interestingly, DSP Paramjeet Singh said Ajesh Gugnani should have told him that Globsyn Business School was an already approved centre of the university. When asked how many (and which) centres had accused Gugnani brothers of extorting money, he said the file was not available with him right now, while claiming that he didn't remember their names.

Meanwhile, Gautam Banerjee and Saibal Kanta, both employees of Matrix Infosys, who were arrested from Kolkata last week, would be produced in the court on Tuesday after the expiry of their two-day remand. The Gugnani brothers are still at large.