Medical admission scam: Retired HC judge, five others arrested by CBI
The former judge and his alleged accomplice assured a medical institute that has been barred by the government from admitting fresh students to get their “ matter settled” in the SC.india Updated: Sep 21, 2017 15:08 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a retired judge of the Orissa high court and four others in connection with a medical admission scam.
According to a CBI FIR, reviewed by the HT, judge IM Quddusi and his alleged accomplice Bhawana Pandey had assured representatives of the Prasad Education Trust that runs Lucknow-based Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences that they would get their “matter settled” in the Supreme Court using their contacts.
The Lucknow-based medical institute is among the 46 colleges that have been barred by the government from admitting students for the next few years due to “sub-standard facilities and non-fulfillment of the required criteria.”
Accordingly, the duo got in touch with one Biswanath Agrawala from Bhubaneswar, who claimed to have a very close contact with senior relevant public functionaries.
Besides Quddusi, the rest of the five arrested accused include Agrawala, Pandey, two representatives of the trust, BP Yadav and Palash Yadav and an alleged hawala dealer Ramdev Saraswat.
It is Pandey’s second brush with the CBI. She was earlier arrested by the agency in 2001 in a bribery scandal involving then Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chief BP Verma.
Quddusi was a judge of Odisha HC between 2004 and 2010.
The arrests were made after searches were conducted in eight places in New Delhi and Bhubaneswar in connection with the corruption case.
The CBI recovered Rs 1 crore from Agrawala, soon after he got the money from the alleged hawala dealer in Chandni Chownk area of the city.
The searches also led to a seizure of another around Rs 90 lakh.
The institute had challenged the debarment order in the Supreme Court.
The top court on August 1 this year gave a combined order, on the petitions of the Prasad Institute and other such petitioners, asking the government to take a fresh look into the cases of these institutes.
Following the directive, the government gave a hearing to the Prasad Institute and gave a decision on August 10 to debar the college for 2017-18 and 2018-19 for admitting fresh students and asked the regulatory body, the Medical Council of India (MCI), to encash its bank guarantee of Rs 2 crore.
According to the CBI FIR, after the government’s decision, BP Yadav got in touch with Quddusi and Pandey, both residents of a same building in Greater Kailash-Part 1 area of the capital, through one Sudhir Giri of Venkateshwara Medical College in Meerut and “entered into a criminal conspiracy for getting the matter settled.”
According to the CBI FIR, the Prasad Institute first challenged the fresh government debarment order in the SC.
Information further revealed that on the advice of Quddusi, the petition was withdrawn from the apex court on August 25 and another petition was filed in the Allahabad high court.
Hearing the petition, the Allahabad high court had put a stay on the debarment order until the next date of hearing on August 31. The stay was also granted on encashment of bank guarantee.
The MCI challenged the HC order in the SC, where the institute submitted that it was not claiming any benefit from the high court’s order.
The SC granted liberty to the medical college to further approach it in this regard.
Subsequently, the FIR states, Prasad Institute filed a writ petition in the court. It was at that point Quddusi and Pandey engaged services of Agrawala.
To settle the case, Agarwala, however, demanded huge gratification for inducing the public servants by corrupt and illegal means.
Last month, the CBI had arrested three people – one Kunwar Nishant Singh, VK Sharma and his son Vaibhav – for allegedly trying to bribe health ministry officials to get similar ban on another Haryana-based “substandard” medical college reversed.
In case of Bhawana Pandey, it is her second brush with the CBI. She was earlier arrested by the agency in 2001 in a bribery scandal involving then Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chief BP Verma.