“Cash-for-marks scam: Strict action would be taken against guilty”

Chennai: The Tamilnadu government today said strict legal action would be taken against those found guilty in the ‘cash-for-marks’ racket at the Anna University here.

The Tamilnadu Police had on August 2 booked 10 professors, including former controller of examinations G V Uma, for allegedly “receiving money” from some engineering students and giving them extra marks during re-evaluation.

Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that a committee has been constituted to look into the issue. “Whoever is (involved) in this matter, strict legal action will be initiated against them based on the findings of the committee,” he said.

The action by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) against Uma and nine others showed the government was “transparent” and that it was acting quickly on such issues, Jayakumar said.

The DVAC, the anti-corruption wing of the state police, had earlier conducted searches at the premises related to the 10 professors and seized some documents.

The action was taken based on information received from “reliable sources” that the accused had received money from engineering students, who had appeared for exams last year, and had granted them “excess marks” during re-evaluation.

The DVAC had filed a case against Uma, Tindivanam zonal officers and assistant professors P Vijayakumar and Sivakumar, and seven others on charges of “conspiracy, cheating and forgery”.

Subsequently, searches were carried out at the Chennai residence of Uma, those of Vijayakumar and Sivakumar at Tindivanam and the office of controller of examinations at the Anna University by the DVAC. The documents relating to the alleged irregularities in re-evaluation and those pertaining to properties of the accused were seized.

Anna University Vice Chancellor M K Surappa had yesterday said Uma has been placed under suspension and that a committee has been formed to look into the issue.

To a query on the state government facing opposition flak over its transferring the probe into the theft of temple idols in the state to the CBI, Jayakumar said it was done since there was a possible “international” angle to the matter.

“It is an inter-state and international issue. How can a state police intervene in an international issue. Since there is an international angle, the CBI is the correct agency to handle it,” he said, adding, that those found guilty in this matter will face the law.

The Tamil Nadu government had on August 1 issued an order transferring all idol theft cases in the state from the idol wing police to the CBI, a decision flayed by the opposition DMK.

The G.O had said factors like some cases having both domestic and international ‘ramifications,’ requirement of extradition in some cases and the involvement of central agencies as part of the investigation were considered for the transfer of the probe.

DMK Working President M K Stalin had questioned the motive behind the government transferring the probe to the CBI.

“When a fair probe is on under IG Pon Manickavel, the AIADMK government’s decision to suddenly hand over the cases to the CBI has some hidden political motives,” he had said.

He also questioned the government’s move on the matter, saying the investigation was being monitored by the high court.

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