Kerala: CSI under ED scanner for alleged admission scam at Karakonam medical college
Thiruvananthapuram: Following reports of an alleged money laundering case at a Church of South India (CSI)-run medical institution at Karakonam, the Enforcement Directorate has conducted raids at multiple premises, including the headquarters, of the Church of South India (CSI) in Thiruvananthapuram and against the Church officials. The church was alleged to have accepted capitation fees...
Thiruvananthapuram: Following reports of an alleged money laundering case at a Church of South India (CSI)-run medical institution at Karakonam, the Enforcement Directorate has conducted raids at multiple premises, including the headquarters, of the Church of South India (CSI) in Thiruvananthapuram and against the Church officials.
The church was alleged to have accepted capitation fees for admission to a medical college run by it and the deal reportedly involved black money.
Raids were conducted at the headquarters of the CSI South Kerala diocese which houses the office of Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam. The bishop was one of the main accused booked by the Kerala police who was accused of taking huge amounts of money from students on the promise of a medical seat at the Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College in Karakonam, which is run by the church, reports The News Minute.
In addition to the raid carried out at the Church's headquarters, raids were also conducted at the residences of Church's secretary TT Praveen, CSI South Kerala Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam and former director Dr Bennet Abraham of the CSI Memorial Medical College. Dr Abraham had contested as a Left candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.
This is not the first time that such a case has been reported against the church, as it was reported earlier that the capitation fees taken from the students were parked in a separate account without any receipts or bills.
The Kerala High Court, in July 2020, cancelled the admission of nearly 11 MBBS students who had gotten admitted to the college by submitting fake community certificates that were found to be given by Bishop Rasalam in 2018. The court had also directed the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee to take action against the management in 2019 and had recommended steps for the government to refund the exorbitant college fees to students.
The panel report was submitted on the basis of the complaints given by nearly 24 students, most of whom came from Tamil Nadu. The panel had observed that Dr Bennet Abraham and other officials were aware of the corrupt practice, and the report called this an incident of "willful cheating".
Similarly, last year, there was an allegation that the college did not give admission to students from whom they had collected capitation fees. The case was being investigated by the Kerala Police Crime Branch and had submitted in the court that they couldn't find evidence for the alleged crime, reports the Indian Express. The court had also rejected the probe report earlier.
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