Published: 04th April 2018
VTU Belagavi files forgery case against its VC for alleged misuse of university funds
As per information revealed in the audit, Maheshappa had issued DDs to many people every month, among who are employees of the university and some are outsiders
The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Belagavi has filed a cheating and forgery case against 25 people including former vice-chancellor Dr H Maheshappa — who is a Congress ticket aspirant from Harihara for the forthcoming polls — and registrar of the university, for misappropriation of university funds.
As per information available from the university authorities, the amount misutilised by Maheshappa and others mentioned in the complaint goes up to several crores of rupees and the internal audit is still going on to arrive at a final figure.
"This came to light during the ongoing internal audit of the university and it is learnt that during his tenure as Vice-Chancellor Dr H Maheshappa had issued Demand Drafts to several people — wherein some are employees of the university — and even withdrawing money from the university account," varsity official who is privy to the audit, said.
The university has completed auditing just two years and six more years are to be audited.
"Maheshappa headed the university as VC for two terms and during the end of the second term, he was suspended by the Governor following the inquiry committee report submitted by Justice Keshava Narayana wherein several allegations against him were proved. Now, the audit for two years has been completed and it is found the amount goes up to Rs 1.8 crore. But the audit is going on for the rest of the years," explained the official.
As per information revealed in the audit, Maheshappa had issued DDs to many people every month, among who are employees of the university and some are outsiders. "When it is found that there were no bills for some of the payments made through DD, we got suspicious and inquired with the staff for whom the DDs were issued. We got to know the role of the then VC and registrar, who was also the finance officer," the official said.
The varsity authorities placed the matter before the executive council, which then decided to file a police complaint against those involved in this.
The same has been communicated to the Governor who is also the Chancellor for state universities. The Governor, too, directed vice chancellor and registrar to file a criminal case against those involved in the scam.
The registrar of the university then filed a complaint at Belagavi Rural Police station on March 28, 2018.
Senior police officials of Belagavi district confirmed that the complaint was registered, the FIR filed, and the investigations were on.
Meanwhile, varsity officials also confirmed that five more complaints are ready to be filed file and the same would be done in a day or two.
Who is Dr H Maheshappa?
Dr H Maheshappa former Vice Chancellor of VTU is one of the ticket aspirants for upcoming assembly elections from Harihara constituency from Congress party. A few months ago he was appointed as head of IT cell for KPCC and following media reports the same has been withdrawn.
However, there is a pending action against Maheshappa from Government based on Governor's recommendation. The Governor had placed Maheshappa under suspension from the night of March 14, 2016, until further orders following the report of Justice K.N. Keshavanarayana’s one-man committee report found prima facie evidence of alleged irregularities, illegalities and abuse of powers.
Maheshappa has the infamous reputation of being the first vice-chancellor of Karnataka’s only technological university — VTU — to be suspended.
But, till date government has not initiated any action.
Interestingly, even another committee constituted by a government headed by Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri also recommended criminal action against him and this report was submitted to the government a month ago.