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Pleasant look, convincing skills: How fraudsters recruited a failed medical practitioner to head fake edu board

A native of Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Prasad Pandey claimed to have done a five-year diploma in ayurveda from a government college in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district in the 1970s.

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2017 11:37 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Fake school board,Board of Higher Secondary Education Delhi,Delhi Police
Shiv Prasad Pandey, the chairman of fake education board, in Delhi police custody on Friday.(Sushil Kumar/HT Photo)

His confidence, pleasant appearance and ability to convince people propelled 65-year-old Shiv Prasad Pandey from a failed medical practitioner to the chairman of a fake education board, interrogators said.

These ‘qualities’ made Pandey the ‘de facto choice’ for the chairman when a group of fraudsters found an opportunity to take over an education racket after its ‘mastermind’, Mange Ram Acharya, landed in jail in 2011.

The members of the gang rendered leaderless by Acharya’s arrest created a fake education board -- an offshoot of the existing racket – and decided to make easy money, said Ravindra Yadav, Joint CP (Eastern Range).

“They needed a face to lead them and happened to come across Pandey who was a man of few words but was very sharp and had great convincing abilities. He dressed in suit and tie and did not appear like a cheat. They did not waste any time and quickly garlanded him to make him the board’s chairman. They splashed his photos on the board’s website to appear as genuine,” an investigator not authorised to speak to the media told Hindustan Times.

Produced before the media on Friday, Pandey was “not impressed” by the attention, said the investigator.

“He said he received more attention at conferences, conclaves and seminars he attended as the board’s chairman.”

Delhi’s fake education board
Police say the fake education board issued thousands of fake certificates and degrees. It issued advertisements in small newspapers to avoid detection
What the gang charged
Services provided
Affiliation to schools from the fake education board Marksheets from fake education board and other genuine boards Forged higher education degrees, UG to PG programmes Fake documents such as migration certificates and character certificates from own board and other genuine institutes or boards
The names of institutions misused by the gang
Some of the boards, universities and institutes in whose names forged documents were made
1. Intermediate Council of Schooling Education
2. Rajya Madarsa Education, Lucknow, UP
3. Rajya Mukt Vidhalya Parisad, Lucknow, UP
4. Board of School and Technical Education, Chhattisgarh
5. Chhatrapati Sahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur, UP
6. Madhyamik Shiksha Parisad, UP
7. Manav Bharti University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh
8. Sambhal University, Odisha
9. Sunrise University, Alwar, Rajasthan
10. Rashtriya Intermediate Open School
11. Himalyan University
12. Arunachal University
13. Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidhyapeeth, Varansi, UP
14. Board of Secondary Education, Madhya Bharat, Gwalior, MP
15. Jharkhand State Open School

The board’s three main offices were located in Delhi and Lucknow and Pandey moved between these two cities. The police are yet to ascertain his financial worth, but investigators said that one of his bank accounts had shown a transaction of Rs 60 lakh since January 2015.

A native of Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Pandey claimed to have done a five-year diploma in ayurveda from a government college in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district in the 1970s. This is yet to be verified.

“Pandey then set up a clinic in Pratapgarh that failed to take off. He then moved his clinic to Chembur in Mumbai, near Raj Kapoor’s studio, RK Films,” said the investigator.

It was at this clinic that Pandey met another man who introduced him to the education racket and the prospects of easy money. Pandey was allegedly remote-controlled by the man who remains on the run, police said.

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 10:58 IST