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Church of South India Bishop to face criminal action

Church of South India Bishop to face criminal action
Somervell medical college officials accused of collecting huge sums from candidates

August 22, 2019

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, SOUTH INDIA --- The Admission Supervisory Committee for Medical Education has recommended initiating criminal proceedings against Bishop A. Dharmaraj Rasalam of the South Kerala diocese of the Church of South India (CSI) and other officials of the Dr. Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam, including former director Bennet Abraham, for allegedly collecting huge sums from medical aspirants after promising admission.

The R. Rajendrababu-headed panel recommended that the government adopt steps against the college to ensure that the money collected from the candidates was refunded. The committee issued the orders after considering the complaints of 24 aspirants, mostly those from Tamil Nadu. They pointed out that the college office-bearers had virtually admitted to have collected money from the parents of the aspirants, but failed to fulfil the promise of admission.

They collected money despite being aware of the fact that non-Keralite students were ineligible for admission to MBBS, BDS and MD courses in the State. Huge sums, some even as high as ₹60 lakh, were alleged to have been collected, the panel found.

Wilful cheating

Evidences also indicated that Dr. Abraham was controlling the admission process and most of the complainants had paid the money after meeting him. "All the office-bearers and Dr. Abraham were fully aware of the situation and it was wilful cheating."

The committee said the college maintained a parallel register wherein the details of collected amounts were entered. While an initial statement submitted by those responsible did not disclose who handled the particular account, it was purportedly found at a later stage that the money was received and maintained by P. Thankaraj, administrative officer.

The panel highlighted the need for steps to put an end to the unhealthy practice of collecting advances from students after promising admission.

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