Kochi: The Admission Supervisory Committee (ASC) for medical education in Kerala headed by Justice R. Rajendra Babu has recommended to the state government initiation of criminal proceedings against the officials and office-bearers of Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam, for collection of huge amounts from parents of MBBS/PG course aspirants by promising admission.
“On a consideration of the complaints, evidence and all the circumstances, the committee recommends to the government under section 8(4) of the Act of 2017 to take appropriate steps against the college to refund the amount collected from the complainants and to initiate criminal proceedings against the college officials and the office bearers, viz the Bishop Rt Rev A Dharmaraj Rasalam, Dr Bennet Abraham, and Sri Thankaraj in accordance with law,” the Commission’s order on Monday said.
It is estimated that the officials and office-bearers had collected around Rs 5.5 crore for admissions since 2016 from different students but were not given admission nor their money returned. The ASC action comes based on the petition submitted by them to the committee.
The Commission noted that the college officials as well as the office bearers had virtually admitted the collection of amounts.
“As per the provision in the prospectus, non-Keralite students were not eligible for admission to MBBS/BDS/MD courses in Kerala and the college authorities were fully aware that many of the non-Keralite students were ineligible for admission, yet they collected money promising admission to them. The evidence would indicate that Dr Bennet Abraham was controlling the admission, and most of the complainants paid the amount after meeting him. All the office bearers and Dr Bennet Abraham were fully aware of the situation, and virtually it was wilful cheating,” the ASC order said.
The committee which could not confirm whether this collection of money can be termed capitation fee noted that the officials and office-bearers of the college tried to justify the same saying they were keeping a parallel register wherein the amounts thus collected were entered.
“But their statements do not disclose as to the person who was keeping the amount and handling the same, as none of them had a case that the money was deposited in any bank in any particular account,” the ASC noted.
“So when there was a change of the office bearers of the committee, there should be a transfer of the money also. But the statements do not disclose anything about the money or transfer or handing over of money. The statements would reveal that the money was received and kept by Thankaraj. The collection of a huge amount of money from aspiring students in advance promising admission is not a healthy practice that cannot be permitted to be continued.”
Bishop Rasalam earlier argued before the committee that the college was collecting interest-free loans, advances of tuition fee etc. from aspiring medical students, well-wishers and students who have already got admission for MBBS and MD courses....