Fake degree scam: Failing to make headway, police want I-T dept to handle case

Solan police, that is currently investigating the matter, has registered three criminal cases under sections 420, 467, 468 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code at the Dharampur police station.
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Updated on Aug 31, 2020 06:29 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Shimla | By, Shimla

After failing to make much progress with its probe into the alleged fake degree sale by Solan-based Manav Bharati University (MBU), the Himachal police have urged the state government to hand over the investigation to the income tax department.

Solan police, that is currently investigating the matter, has registered three criminal cases under sections 420, 467, 468 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code at the Dharampur police station. These cases are being investigated by a special investigation team (SIT) of the HP police.

MBU, owned by Manav Bharti Charitable Trust, was established in 2009. Its chairman is Raj Kumar Rana and trustees are his wife Ashoni Kanwar and daughter Aina Rana. Madhav University, Rajasthan, was also established under the aegis of the same trust in 2013.

During the investigation, the police had found that Rana acquired huge movable and immovable property in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and other places with the funds generated by the sale of fake degrees. Rana was arrested in June this year.

“Apart from the fake degrees, it is necessary to investigate the financial aspects of the crime, for which evaluation of properties and tracking of financial transactions and money trail relating to the crime needs to be undertaken by the income tax department,” said director general of police Sanjay Kundu.

Solan-based MBU had come under the scanner after University Grants Commission (UGC) had written to authorities concerned in the state in August 2019 to conduct a thorough inquiry into the allegations of sale of fake degrees by APG University in Shimla and MBU, but the government remained silent for six months. It was after repeated reminders from UGC that the Himachal government initiated a probe against the two private universities.

The UGC had informed that MBU had sold over four-five lakh degrees during the past seven years with the help of agents in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, West Bengal and South India, under the nose of HP Private Universities Regulatory Authority.

As MBU is under investigation, passed out students from the university, who are employed now, have expressed worry about their future. They have formed a group and are demanding justice from the state government.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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