Published: 27th July 2022
Bishop accused of scamming medical college aspirants to the tune of Rs 50 lakh grilled by ED
The alleged scam in Kerala was carried out by a minority medical college run by the Church of South India, where exorbitant amounts were collected from students on false promises of admission
A medical seat scam that cost unsuspecting students Rs 50 lakh each. The Church of South India (CSI) and the Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College in Karakonam in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, had their premises raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with this alleged scam. The offices of Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam, the residence of church secretary TT Praveen and former director of the medical college Dr Bennet Abraham, were also raided by the ED and these three officials are the chief suspects in this case, where they allegedly collected money to the tune of Rs 50 lakh in exchange for medical seats at the CSI's Karakonam medical college. The students, most of whom were from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, never actually got these seats. These students were allegedly asked to produce fake community certificates by the church in order to facilitate these admissions and the certificates are how the matter first came to light in 2018, after 11 students were apprehended for producing fake community certificates upon the instructions of Bishop Rasalam.
The Bishop has now been taken in for questioning by the ED and, earlier this week, was stopped from boarding a plane to the UK to attend a conference. As per norms, 50% of the medical seats in the college are filled based on the merit list and the other 50% are management seats. The latter were being offered to the students at exorbitant amounts.
In 2018, petitions were filed against the college for scamming the students and the court had asked if the law enforcement officials were afraid of arresting Bishop Rasalam and his alleged accomplices. The court had also cancelled the admission of those students who had procured fake medical certificates. However, the church, which is now facing allegations of money laundering on the pretext of offering MBBS and BDS seats in the Karakonam medical college says that the ED did not find any anomalies in its raid and had simply taken the Bishop in for questioning for more clarity on the matter.
With inputs from PTI