Tribune News Service
Solan, January 5
A court in Solan declared two family members of the chairman of a private university absconders on Wednesday as investigators try to get their hands on the people behind a multi-crore scam involving fake degrees.
The wife and daughter of Manav Bharati University chairman Rajkumar Rana were booked in the case in March 2020. A Special Investigation Team from the state’s Crime Investigation Department that was probing the case made an application to have them declared absconders on Tuesday, officials said.
The SIT had issued two non-bailable warrants in the case for Rana’s wife Ashoni Kanwar and daughter Aaina Rana after investigators couldn’t find them at their residential addresses. Investigators said that two did not respond to summons that were given to them at their known addresses—their residences, Madhav University at Abu Road in Rajasthan as well as their known houses in Karnal and Una.
Investigators claim Ashoni Kanwar secured a fake degree from the university and used that to get a job as a faculty member there. Both Kanwar and Aaina Rana are trustees at the university and have been accused of having bought properties by misappropriating money from the university.
The duo is reportedly in Australia.
Inspector General of Police CID Atul Fulzale said his department was working with Interpol to help issue a red notice against the two.
Allegations that the university sold their degree for a considerable sum since 2009 first surfaced in 2020, raising questions about how they were able to evade the state’s regulatory system. Reports surfaced that the University Grants Commission had even flagged the impropriety but it remained unaddressed.
The university was accused of having charged between Rs 1 and Rs 3 lakh through agents for their degrees. Investigators claim that the university may have sold 55,000 such degrees.
Investigators have been trying to have Ashoni Kanwar, Aaina Rana, and Rajkumar Rana’s son extradited from Australia since January last year.