STF notice to Kanpur varsity VC for questioning in graft case
Noncompliance of the investigating agency’s summons could even lead to reward on VC’s arrest, say officials
The vice-chancellor (VC) of Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University (CSMU), Vinay Kumar Pathak, has been summoned by the special task force (STF) for questioning in a graft case lodged against him.
The STF issued summons after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Tuesday rejected his plea to quash the case.
An STF official said two sub-inspector rank officials of UP STF served the notice at Pathak’s official residence in Kanpur on Tuesday night. He has been asked to present before the investigation officer at STF headquarters in Lucknow on Friday (November 18) to give his clarification in the case.
This STF official said the two sub inspectors were told by an employee at the VC residence that Pathak wasn’t inside. The employee also claimed he had no knowledge of Pathak’s whereabouts.
The STF official said an electronic surveillance team has been asked to trace Pathak’s location. He said the STF will launch a lookout for him if Pathak didn’t appear before the STF on Friday.
The STF official said further action against Pathak including announcing a reward on his arrest might follow if he didn’t turn up before the STF for questioning.
The STF official said they were reluctant to initiate action against Pathak as his petition seeking quashing of the FIR and a stay on his arrest was pending before the court. However, notice was served to him for questioning soon after the court dismissed the plea on Tuesday.
He said Pathak has been accused of demanding a hefty commission from an agency to clear its bills worth ₹1.4 crore when he was the officiating V-C of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Agra. The bills were for services obtained by the Agra University from the complainant’s firm in conducting examinations.
The STF official said several other anomalies related to the recruitment of outsourcing staff during Pathak’s tenure as the V-C of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University in Lucknow between August 2015 and August 2021 have also surfaced.
Notably, no police action was taken against Pathak, in spite of an FIR lodged against him at Indira Nagar police station of Lucknow on October 29. The police, meanwhile, arrested two other co-accused Ajay Mishra on October 30 and Ajay Jain on November 6. Ajay Mishra allegedly helped Pathak by reportedly playing the mediator’s role in demanding commission from the complainant, and Ajay Jain helped him in managing the commission amount by generating fake e-bills through his business firm. Also, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sought details of the FIR and evidences that surfaced during the investigation by the STF as it suspected money laundering in the case.
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