The Madhya Pradesh Economic Offences Wing (EOW) registered a case against former Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication (MCNUJC) BK Kuthiyala and 19 others alleging irregularities in finances and recruitment between 2010 to 2018.
Superintendent of Police, EOW Arun Mishra said that the case has been registered after the registrar of the university, Deependra Baghel filed a complaint to the EOW. “According to the complaint, the appointments had been made between 2003 to 2018 violating the UGC norms and some of the appointments have been made to satisfy people who were in power,” said Mishra to media after the FIR.
Days after coming to power, the Congress government had constituted high powered three member committee to probe multiple complaints against Kuthiyala in financial and recruitment irregularities, who was the VC from 2010 to 2018 of the University, and the others. The probe panel comprised additional chief secretary (public relations) M Gopal Reddy, OSD to CM Kamal Nath Bhupendra Gupta, and former Congress MP Sandip Dixit.
The Kamal Nath government had directed EOW to investigate allegations of saffronisation of the University syllabus, promotion of a particular ideology and to probe alleged irregularities in the recruitment of faculty members. The committee said in its report that the “manner of curriculum design seems to be opaque and discretionary”.
In the FIR, EOW has said that Kuthiyala opened several study centres outside the campus to “benefit a group of people”, and that he “misused his office for his own expenses as well as his family’s”.
According to the FIR, the VC Kuthiyala sent his wife on London tour on university expenses. Got his eye treatment done on university expenses, bought a wine cabinet with university’s money. Liquor and hotel bills on University expenses and made several recruitments against UGC guidelines and promoted a particular ideology.
The EOW has booked 20 people including VC and some HODs under section 409 (Criminal Breach of Trust ), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery and property), 120 B (Criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Despite repeated calls, former VC Kuthiyala did not respond to calls or text messages. Former registrar Sanjay Dwivedi, who is among those named in the FIR, refused to comment, saying he is not authorised to speak on the issue.
Most of the accused refused to comment. But a professors agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity. One of them asked: “Why are teachers only targeted when they were recruited by the university?” Faculty members are being made scapegoats for “someone else’s wrongdoing”. “Who will teach in this university now?” he wondered.
The member of probe committee Bhupendra Gupta said, “We have done nothing. Jas kee tas rakhdhini chadarwa (We have done nothing. We have just let people know what was happening in the university).”
On Sunday evening, the university issued a press release claiming that the former VC had spent ₹21 lakh on unnecessary programmes. The release writes, former VC had spent more than 21 lakh on unnecessary programmes organised between 2010 to 2018.
He gave ₹8 lakh to the BJP’s student organ ABVP, ₹9.5 lakh to organise Rashtriya Gyan Samgam. Given ₹3 lakh to Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Ashram for conducting Rashtriya Vindyat Sangum under the banner of Jammu-Kashmir Adhyan Kendra, ₹46, 607 to Bhartiya Web Private limited-Nagpur and others. After calculation it sums up to ₹21.04 lakh.
Appointments made between 2010 and 2018 were not according to UGC guidelines and several “unqualified recruitments” took place, says the FIR, accusing Kuthiyala of a “conspiracy” to cause huge financial losses to the university.
“The university seems to have lost sight of the current policy of outcome-based learning. The curriculum has not been prepared in accordance with UGC guidelines,” the report says, adding that management sub-committees were “appropriated to achieve the prescribed ideological goals. Consequently, the university was made to lose the sight of mandate of excellence and it contributed to deterioration and erosion of standard. It is a strong indicator that university has not been able to obtain NAAC accreditation after 28 years of its formation,” the report says.
Kuthiyala wrote to CM Nath
As the probe panel named BK Kuthiyala as kingpin of irregularities, Kuthiyala dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Kamal Nath weeks ago claiming that his name is intentionally being dragged by the probe panel. In his one page letter, Kuthiyala claimed, 'The university become financially strong during his tenure."