BENGALURU: In what is being touted as the biggest example of tax evasion by higher professional colleges in the State the Directorate of Income Tax, Investigation, Bengaluru has reportedly seized around Rs42 crore during its search and seizure operations at a top medical college in the city.
Though officers in the Directorate remained tight lipped, according to sources, the raids were based on credible inputs and were part of its ongoing operations to detect unaccounted money and tax evasion by professional educational institutes. The alleged three-day long search operation at the premises of Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences was part of the operation.
Last month the Directorate had conducted similar raids at the multiple premises of the M.S. Ramaiah Group, which has business interests in education, healthcare, and real estate. State Planning and Statistics Minister M.R. Seetharam is a director in the family-run group. The I-T searches were also reportedly conducted at the administrative offices of M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology and M.S. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital and College.
No investigation: The state government has decided not to hold any investigating against the Vaidehi Institute of Medical Sciences over the cash pile seized from the trustee house. “Till now no one complained about the seat blocking or donation in the college. So we will not hold any investigation. If any students lodge complaint we will investigate the issue,” said an officer.
New medical college: The Sambhram Institute of Medical Sciences in Kolar has been permitted to start MBBS course from this academic year. According to the sources in the state medical education department, the union health ministry has sanctioned 150 seats to the college. “Now we have just two days to complete the counselling process to fill the 38 medical seats available in the college under the government quota,” he informed.
Seat blocking issue comes to the fore
These raids have raised questions regarding the possibility of alleged seat blocking by some of the member institutions of Association of Minority Professional Colleges Colleges in Karnataka (AMPCK).
According to the sources in the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA), around 200 students had lodged a complaint against the AMPCK with the Admission Overseeing Committee, headed by Justice R Gururajan, alleging seats were being blocked and genuine candidates were denied seats. Interestingly Vaidehi Institute Director Kalpaja D.A. is leading AMPCK.
“This year colleges have adopted a new modus operandi to block seats. First rejecting the applications of the NEET top ranking students by citing technical reasons and later accommodating students with low rank,” an officer explained.
According to the several students, AMPCK did not conduct the first round of medical seat allotment process in a transparent way. “This counselling is the best example for how colleges can block medical seats even after making NEET compulsory. Several students with lowest NEET ranks were allotted seats by rejecting the application of top ranking students,” said a parent who is still fighting for a MBBS seat for his daughter.
“If central and state governments order a CBI investigation into the AMPCK admission process, it can be unearthed from where these unaccounted cash was collected,” he said.