Former Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and two others have been granted bail by a special court in a graft case for allegedly permitting two varsities to run distance learning courses in violation of norms. Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna allowed the bail pleas of ex-IGNOU vice-chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, former Punjab Technical University (PTU) VC Rajneesh Arora and then PTU registrar R P S Bedi, saying they were not arrested during the probe and there was nothing to show that they would flee from justice.
The three accused were granted bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 75,000 each and a surety of like amount. “The accused persons were not arrested during the investigation. Nothing has been brought on record whereby there is any possibility of accused persons fleeing from justice or tampering with the evidence. The accused persons have roots in the society and trial would take long time to conclude,” the court said.
It directed the accused to attend the court regularly, not to leave the country without court’s prior permission and not to contact or influence any witness in this case. “Accused persons will not tamper with the evidence/record in any manner directly or indirectly,” the court said.
CBI had lodged a case against Pillai and others in July 2012 alleging that during his tenure as VC of IGNOU and also the Chairman of Distance Education Council, he had allowed Sikkim Manipal University and PTU to run distance learning courses in violation of laid down procedures.
It further alleged that Pillai had abused his official position in granting approval to the two universities based in Jalandhar and Gangtok for running courses in Distance Education Mode, ignoring the deficiencies pointed out by an expert committee in 2009.
After completion of investigation, CBI had filed a charge sheet and a supplementary charge sheet in the court and the accused were chargesheeted for the alleged offences under 120B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged document as genuine) of the IPC and under the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly abusing the official position. The court fixed the matter for October 21 for scrutiny of documents filed along with the charge sheet.