Shillong: A chargesheet has been filed against 11 officials of the now dissolved CMJ University in Meghalaya for their alleged involvement in fraud, forgery and selling fake degree certificates to students, police said on Saturday.
"We have filed a chargesheet against 11 people who were officials of the now dissolved CMJ University on charges of fraud, forgery and selling fake degree certificates to students from various parts of the country," Spill Thamar, the investigating officer in the varsity scam, told IANS.
The chargesheet was filed on Friday by the state Criminal Investigation Department before the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Chandra Mohan Jha, the chancellor of the private varsity, his wife I.R. Jha and his two sons Govind Jha and Gopal Jha, who were the secretary and treasurer of the CMJ Foundation, the sponsoring body of the CMJ university, are among those booked.
The others named in the chargesheet are Registrar Mrinal Kanti Deb, Deputy Registrar Premlal Rai, former registrar Tilok Das Gupta, University Director Manjit Kaur Kaushal, University Human Resource Manager Juban Kharpuri, Chairman Apex e-Learning (Bangalore) Dhanwant Singh Matharoo, and CMJ University employee (examination department) Asifa Nongrum.
CMJ University, the first private university in Shillong, created a record of sorts by awarding PhD degrees to 434 candidates in the 2012-13 academic year, and enrolled 490 students for the PhD programme for 2012-2013, even though only 10 of its faculty members have doctorates.
Each student desiring to pursue a PhD programme was asked to pay Rs 1.27 lakh.
Former governor R.S. Mooshahary in his capacity as visitor to the varsity had exposed irregularities in its functioning and had asked the state government to dissolve it.
The Meghalaya governor's secretariat had lodged a first information report (FIR) with the police against the CMJ University and its Chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha for alleged lapses and fraud involving fake degrees for students.
"We filed the chargesheet based on documentary evidences after a thorough investigation into the case... we also submitted Phd theses and other documents to the court for documentary evidence," said Thamar, who is also the district police chief of East Jaintia Hills.
"During investigation, we interrogated around 40 people, and were able to draw out thousands of documents, including over 4,000 Ph.D. theses," the police official said.
The CMJ University, which had the CMJ Foundation as its sponsoring body, was established in 2009 through a legislation passed by the Meghalaya Assembly.
In June last year, the Meghalaya government gave ex-post facto approval for the dissolution of CMJ University following a Supreme Court directive to take appropriate action.
"The government has dissolved CMJ University based on the Supreme Court order. Moreover, the university's replies to the government show cause notices were found not tenable," a Meghalaya government official told IANS.
"The evidence as to its mismanagement, maladministration, indiscipline, fraudulent intent and failure in the accomplishment of the objectives of the university is too overwhelming," he said.
The Ghanaian government has also barred the university from recruiting students for its distance learning programme from the African country.
It has asked the CJM branch at Accra, capital of Ghana, not to recruit students as it has no proper accreditation in that country.
Officials of India's National Accreditation Board have cautioned students, employers and public not to deal with CMJ as it was not registered or accredited by the board in Ghana.