The XII special court for CBI cases on Friday convicted and sentenced three persons, including the chairman of an engineering college, his wife and a lecturer who was working with them, for cheating the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) by submitting forged land documents and fraudulent acts.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, John Alfred and his wife Jayanthi John were the trustees of St. Alfred Educational Trust and they established J.A. Institute of Engineering and Technology (JAIET) at Koyambedu in Chennai.
The CBI said they had conspired with then AICTE officials and had dishonestly submitted proposals for approval of the AICTE in establishing the JAIET and further extension of approvals for the respective years by endorsing / representing false documents / averments to the AICTE during the period 1996-2009.
The CBI alleged that the accused had cheated the AICTE by submitting forged land documents, forged fixed deposit receipts, forged Ph. D. degree, forged CMDA approvals, forged affiliation letter, forged government approval letter for change of site and established a college in a residential apartment with lack of basic facilities flouting the norms prescribed by the AICTE without considering the future of the students.
Thus they had cheated AICTE, the Government of Tamil Nadu, Madras University, Anna University, the CMDA, students, Indian Bank and others and had committed offences, including conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption.
The case was taken up for investigation in 2009 and the CBI filed chargesheet against 13 persons, including the three accuse and the then officials of AICTE in 2012.
At the conclusion of trial, XIII Special Judge for CBI cases L.S.Sathyamurthy, convicted John Alfred, Jayanthi John and Edwin Prabhakar in the case and sentenced them to undergo two-year rigorous imprisonment. They were imposed a fine of ₹20,000 each.
“In the present case on hand, both the Anna University and the AICTE instead of acting as per rules, recklessly played with the students who had chosen the engineering as a subject for their graduation…. that there are too many experts and academic scholars have inspected the institution and filed their reports.”
“As per the oral evidence of the Investigating Officer, there are 11 experts committees constituted by AICTE and five Committees constituted by Anna University which consisted about 45 members, who are reputed academicians. The eminent scholars have inspected the site and the institution, but, could not do a substantial justice to the students or improve the quality of education taught by the institution and at last the college was closed and students’ academic pursuit was disturbed,” the judge said.