Meghalaya may ask CBI to probe CMJ University scam

Shillong, May 15 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Wednesday hinted that the government may ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the illegal functioning of the controversial CMJ University.

"FIRs have been filed in different cities of the country. We are looking if the case should be handed over to a central agency," Sangma told journalists after a cabinet meeting.

The Accra branch of the university has, in fact, been barred from recruiting students as it doesn't meet accredition norms.

The chief minister said the Mahatma Gandhi University has also been brought under the scanner of the Meghalaya Private Universities (Regulation of Establishment and Maintenance of Standards) Act, 2012.

He said that the education department has held several meetings after the CMJ fiasco arose, and added that additional rules would be introduced for running private universities in Meghalaya.

"In good faith, the universities were given permission to operate, but some seem to have taken this for a ride and this is distressing," Sangma added.

CMJ University, a private varsity in this mountainous state capital of Meghalaya, hit media headlines following Governor R.S. Mooshahary - who is also the visitor of the university - exposing various irregularities in its functioning.

The university has created a record of sorts by awarding Ph.D. degrees to 434 candidates in the 2012-13 academic year, and enrolled 490 students for the Ph.D. programme during 2012-2013, even as only 10 of its faculty members have doctorates.

Meghalaya's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is investigating the alleged lapses of CMJ University, unearthed a number of irregularities in the functioning of the university.

The CID has arrested the varsity's registrar, Mrinal Kanti Deb, and his deputy Premlal Rai, on charges of fraud and cheating.

A lower court in Meghalaya Monday issued non-bailable arrest warrants against CMJ University's chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha and his two associates, Manjeet Kaur and Juban Kharpuri, in connection with the alleged forgery and irregularities by the institution.

Jha has gone into hiding.

"We are coordinating with our counterpart in different States to bring back the accused (Jha)," Sangma said.

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