The CBI has booked two IAS officers — Puducherry’s health secretary B R Babu and Central Admission Committee (CENTAC) chairman Narendra Kumar — and 11 government officials and private medical college administrators in connection with alleged irregularities in admission to postgraduate medical courses. Besides Babu and Kumar, other government officials booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are Puducherry health and family welfare director Raman, CENTAC convenor V Govindraj, joint convenor K Pajaniradja and coordinator Jonathan Daniel.
According to a CBI FIR, “the accused officers cheated bona fide students who were issued provisional admission certificate during counselling by the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC)” but were later denied the seats they were allocated. It is alleged by the CBI that the public servants in criminal conspiracy with private hospital officials abused their official position and cheated bona fide students. It claimed that as part of the conspiracy, the private medical colleges denied admission to bona fide CENTAC-sponsored students and admitted others collecting exorbitant fees.
“In pursuance of the criminal conspiracy, the first phase of counselling was held without even notification of fee, which was later intimated on May 14, 2017 i.e. after completion of first phase of counselling. The fee committee appointed by the Government of Puducherry was headed by Retired Justice Rajasekaran,” the FIR alleged.
Medical colleges in Puducherry have 318 postgraduate and diploma seats in medicine, of which 162 are under government quota and the rest 156 are earmarked as management seats, the CBI FIR says. The process of counselling for 2017-18 was conducted by the CENTAC, under the guidance of the health ministry, Puducherry Government, it said. It said the first phase of counselling was conducted by CENTAC on May 4 and 11, and the second phase on May 19.