On Wednesday (18th November 2020), the Himachal Pradesh High Court granted bail to the Ex-Chancellor of Manav Bharti University, Ram Kumar Rana. He has been booked under Section 420l, 467, 468, and 120-B of Indian Penal Code, 1860 on the accusation of selling fake degrees.
The Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara while granting them bail, observed, “It goes without saying that the petitioner has, prima facie committed an offence, which not only destroyed the faith in the Educational Institutions but also exposed the administrative lapses while creating private Universities.” Investigation was carried out against the Petitioner (Ex-Chancellor of Manav Bharti University) which revealed that Pramod worked for Manav Bharti University.
After Pramod’s arrest, he made a disclosure statement under Section 27
of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872
, which led to a discovery of a 1500 fake degrees, stamps and other material of Manav Bharti University, Solan, from another unit of the University, at Sirohi, Rajastham. The investigation pointed towards Raj Kumar Rana’s involvement and participation in the crime as he was the Solly of this Sirohi institute. Simillary, it was alleged that the petitioner continued to employ Krishan Kumar, despite acquiring knowing of fake degrees being prepared and sold under the name of the University, of which he was a Chancellor. The counsel appearing for the petitioner argued before the court that Manav Bharti University is a creation of statues and works as per the Act. He further claimed that the petitioner had been just a Chancellor of the University and in fact, it is the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Controller of Examination and other administrative staff of Manav Bhari University, who are responsible for its administrative functioning under the Act. Advocate General contended before the Court that the modus Operandi of the petitioner was to sell counterfeit degrees for cash. He stated about the possibility of a large number of persons getting jobs by using these fake degrees continued to be associated with university with the university till date in one capacity or the other. The people who had issued fake degrees were still associated with the university one capacity or the other. It was submitted that despite knowing that many allegation of counterfeit Degrees surfaced, “what the petitioner in the position of Head of the University as well as trust would do was to take out the rotten apple, but to the contrary, he continued to feed the black sheep, which establishes his involvement and his role as the kingpin.” The petitioner is under incarceration since 19th June, 2020 i.e. for about 5 months and the Court in its order stated that the matter was triable by a Chief Judicial Magistrate. “Although the investigation would take sufficient time to complete, yet the fact that an incomplete charge-sheet was filed and the investigation may continue for months together as such, the petitioner’s liberty cannot be curtailed any further. These factors, without extending them further, make out a case for bail,” the Court remarked. The Court also said that an analysis of entire evidence does not justify further incarceration of the accused, nor is going to achieve any significant purpose. Without commenting on the merits of the case, the stage of the investigation and the period of incarceration already undergone would make out a case for bail. Consequently, the Petitioner was directed to be released on bail; however,the Court ordered that the petitioner would be granted bail but before that, he has to surrender his passport with the Investigating Officer if not already done. Krishan Kumar, the Ex-Registrar of Manav Bharti University, has also been granted bail on Wednesday (18th November 2020) in a separate order.