Nagpur: Eighteen years after the ‘Kohchade scam’ of issuing dubious phony degrees was busted, contributing as a major cause in still persistent downfall of the Nagpur University, then Assistant Registrar of the university Yadav Natthu Kohchade has been convicted and sentenced an imprisonment of four years.
The arrest has been made and Kohchade has been put behind the bars for proving to be guilty of offering seven lakh as bribe to the investigating officer PSI Anil Lokhande to hush up the matter and dropping his, and beneficiary student Vishalaxmi’s name from the charge sheet after a blank but signed copy of the university’s mark-sheet was leaked in the media.
The arrest has been made and a fine of Fifty thousand has also been imposed on Kohchade under Section 12 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, informed public prosecutors Rajendra Mendhe and Varsha Aglave. The scam first broke out on 4th March 1999, when a blank but signed mark-sheet of the university was released in the media.
Kohchade, with the help of a number of other staff of the university was operating haulage of issuing bogus and forged degrees to several undeserving students by altering valuation and revaluation of the answer-sheets.
The whole case took a ‘moviefied’ turn when Lokhande, while interrogating, Bunty Uike, one of the suspects in the case, received a call from Kohchade for meeting. In the meeting, convict had offered him seven lakh to repress the names involved in the case. Further, after Lokhande nodded, a meeting at Sitabuldi based Gangaur Restaurant had been arranged. Meanwhile, Lokhande had already lodged a complaint against him in the Anti Corruption Bureau.
According to the plan, ACB, then caught him red-handed and also recovered disproportionate cash and jewellery from his residence. After the raid, he was arrested and imprisoned before being released on a bail. After a gap of eighteen years, decision on the long pending case was finally delivered by Special Judge T.S. Akali on Wednesday.
In the scam, several rules were tweaked and twisted and laws were brazenly violated for charting benefits to unbefitting students, mainly from the engineering faculty.
The swindle and its corollaries has hit one of the oldest institutions in the country so hard that it’s still grappling with problems like delay in declaration of results, undervaluation, shortage of employees and many others. Importantly, it failed to regain its prestige, which had once attracted a former Prime Minister to pursue education from one of its affiliated college.