Vadodara: The special court of principal district and sessions judge J C Doshi remanded Sumandeep Vidyapeeth’s founder-president and former chancellor Mansukh Shah and his accomplices Ashok Tailor and Vinod alias Bharat Savant to police custody till March 4.
The Anti-Corruption bureau (ACB) put forward 31 grounds to seek their 14 days custody.
ACB said that Shah’s custodial interrogation was necessary to probe his cash transactions, investments and property details. Public prosecutor K P Chauhan told the court that the agency has to verify whether the transactions that have been done are according to the Income Tax Act or not.
The ACB will also investigate violation of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Foreign Exchange Management Ac as well as University Grants Commission (UGC) rules. It was also revealed during the arguments that the fixed deposits worth Rs 43 crore that Shah had made were done after demonetization.
“ACB also needs to investigate whether any office-bearer of Medical Council of India (MCI) is involved in the scam,” argued Chauhan.
ACB also wants to probe if Shah demanded money from any foreign student, many of whom study at Sumandeep Vidyapeeth besides finding out if there were any students who were failed in the exam because they did not pay him money.
The agency also needs to investigate how Shah managed to get money to buy the land and construct the buildings for the sparwling 70 acres campus.
On the other hand, Shah’s lawyer Kaushik Bhatt challenged the ACB’s role in the entire case. He argued that since Sumandeep Vidyapeeth is a private institution, ACB does not have any jurisdiction over it. Regarding the 220 cheques worth Rs 101 crore, it was argued that these were taken by students as surety to ensure that they don’t leave the institute before completing their course. These cheques are returned to the students once they complete the courses, said Bhatt.
He also argued that Shah is not the president of the university but just a trustee and therefore, he has no role in the alleged scam.
On ACB’s request for Shah’s custodial interrogation regarding his bank accounts and lockers, it was argued that the ACB officials can get all details from the bank officials and there is no need to keep him along.
A senior ACB official told TOI: “We have formed different teams to check the accounts, revenue, technical details, documents and property investments.”
He added that the Income Tax department had conducted the survey at Sumandeep Vidyapeeth on February 9 but they did not find anything illegal there. “We will enquire from the department regarding the survey that they conducted since we found fixed deposit documents and blanks cheques worth crores of rupees,” said the official.
Shah was later taken to SSG Hospital for routine check-up. Sensing the seriousness of the case, the investigations have been handed over to assistant director of ACB (Vadodara field) P R Gehlot from police inspector G D Palsana.
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