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Fake degree scam: SIT seeks records from private varsities in Shimla

The special investigation team of Himachal Pradesh Police crime branch that is probing the fake degree scam has sought records of last five years from private universities in Shimla.

Besides number of students enrolled and placements, the police have asked authorities of Alakh Prakash Goyal University located in the outskirts of Shimla town to submit records within the next week.

The university had allegedly sold fake degrees to scores of people in different states and many of them secured jobs in government departments as well as private companies.

Read Also: Fake Education Certificates – You are at Risk of Hiring a Fraudster

Last month, the crime branch had registered a case of forgery against the university after its special investigation team found that more than 200 degrees issued by the university were fake.

A case was registered under Sections 465, 467, 471 of the Indian Penal Code at the CID police station in Shimla. The investigation agency found that the university had issued the degrees without relevant records. Authorities had failed to provide satisfactory reply to repeated queries made by the sleuths.

“Now, we have sought fresh records from the university pertaining to admissions and degrees issued by them, which will be analyzed and investigated thoroughly, “ said a high rank police officer, requesting anonymity.

The university had been maintaining that it was not able to provide the records due to the Covid-19 lockdown. However, amidst the lockdown, the university had organised various webinars.

CONGRESS DEMANDS CBI PROBE

Congress legislator Rajendra Rana on Sunday asked the state government to explain the reason for hesitation to hand over the investigation of fake degrees scam in Manav Bharati University to the CBI. Rana alleged that the arrest of the king pin has proved that more than six lakh degrees were sold in India and in foreign countries and that many lawyers are practicing on the basis of fake LLB degrees.

He said the rates of fake degrees varied from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh and alleged that there was a nexus between the private universities and then government officials.

THE CASE

The fake degree scam, which was unearthed in February this year, after the University Grants Commission (UGC) received an anonymous complaint, involves the alleged sale of more than five lakh degrees by two private universities in Himachal, including MBU, Solan and APG University, Shimla.

The UGC had informed the state government about the alleged sale of fake degrees by the two universities seeking an appropriate action. A SIT was constituted to probe the fake degrees issued by the Manav Bharti University in Solan. The CID had filed its report revealing forgery in documents. In mid June, the police arrested the chairman of Manav Bharti University (MBU), Raj Kumar Rana, after the Himachal Pradesh high court refused to grant him an anticipatory bail. Earlier, the police had arrested KK Singh, former registrar of the university. Two university officials—registrar Anupama Thakur and assistant registrar Munish Goel—were also arrested in March.

The investigation revealed that MBU had issued several fake degrees to students. It also revealed that Rana and his family also possessed fake degrees. Since then, cases have been filed against MBU at various places, including Datia in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Lucknow, Bilaspur and Pune.

Source: HindustanTimes