The unrecognised institute run by an Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur professor using the IIT brand and campus claimed it was awarded deemed university status in 1987 by the President of India, to dupe students.
Police investigators and the central government will verify the authenticity of the letter, written purportedly by the President's secretary in 1987 to the fake Institute of Electrical Engineers, sources said.
Senior officials familiar with such correspondence said the letter may have been forged.
"No senior government official is likely to use the language used in the letter. What is shocking is how such a letter fooled everyone for over two decades," a senior government official said.
IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya on Wednesday met HRD minister Kapil Sibal and handed him a dossier on the scam.
The detailed 22-page letter dated January 28, 1987, is signed by "T. Singh, Private Secretary, President of India," and is on the official letterhead of the head of state.
"The Chairman, University Grants Commission, New Delhi, has been advised specially," to grant deemed-to-be-university status to the IEE, says the typewritten letter. The letter — titled "stricture" — also grants recognition to the diplomas awarded by the fake institute.