Bihar: MU registrar, 4 others arrested by SVU
Sleuths of the special vigilance unit (SVU) on Monday arrested four people including two professors and a registrar of Magadh University (MU) for alleged corruption, misuse of government funds, and abuse of powers, SVU officials said.
Last month, the SVU had carried out raids at the residence and office of the MU vice-chancellor.
The registrar, identified as Pushpendra Kumar Verma, has earlier held additional charges of Nalanda Open University and Arya Bhatt Knowledge University. Others who were arrested have been identified as Prof Binod Kumar, library in charge of MU, proctor Jainandan Prasad Singh and assistant Subodh Kumar.
Confirming their arrests, the additional director general (SVU) N H Khan told HT that all the accused were produced before the special vigilance judge and they have been sent to judicial custody.
He said that the SVU had on November 17 carried out simultaneous raids at the office of MU’s VC Rajendra Prasad, residential premises in Bodh-Gaya and native place at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The SVU has registered a case against present V-C, his PA-cum-assistant of MU, Subodh Kumar, the financial officer of Veer Kunwar Singh University (VKSU), Om Prakash, registrar of Patliputra University, Jitendra Kumar besides M/s Poorva Graphics & Offset Printers, M/s XLICT software private limited, Lucknow and others under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating), besides relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
According to preliminary reports, the V-C has been charged with financial irregularities to the tune of ₹30-crore during his stint as MU VC and additional charge of Veer Kuer Singh University (Ara) for a brief period.
According to sources, there was a long list of complaint against the V-C, including petitions sent to the Prime Minister by a Right to Information (RTI) activist regarding corruption in Bihar varsities through UP-based companies - Infolink Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd and XLICT Pvt Limited, both of which are registered under the name of the same person and were mentioned as working under patronage of bigwigs. The owner of the companies is also said to be related to the V-C.
The contract given to the two companies spelt trouble for the V-C after the resignation of MU finance officer, termination of registrar by the order of the Raj Bhawan and later the transfer of MU financial advisor to TM Bhagalpur University by Raj Bhawan’s notification few months ago.
The three officers had in March 2021 written to the principal secretary, Chancellor’s office regarding pressure on them to clear payment of ₹16-crore to the two companies for OMR sheet and other exam related work without following the due tender process.
Besides, answer-sheets were purchased from Vidya Enterprises (Khera), Gujarat, without following the due procedure of going through the GEM portal for any government purchase. “A new RS 26-lakh SUV was also purchased by the VC without prior sanction even though nearly half a dozen vehicles were there at the university in the VC’s name,” the officials said, adding there were various other complaints regarding money play in transfer, posting and even official work.
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