Court cancels degree of beneficiary student in NU marks scam

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Nagpur, Oct 7 (UNI) For the first time in the legal proceedings in connection with the revaluation scandal that rocked Nagpur University (NU) several years ago, a special court here has ordered the cancellation of an Engineering Degree awarded to a beneficiary student, whom it also convicted in the case.

The court has sentenced student, Anil Sitaram Gupta, to eight years and six months of rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a fine of Rs 42,000. Besides the beneficiary student, the court has also convicted Hemant Thakre, a former Dean of the faculty of Engineering, and Shyam Kalamkar, a former Assistant Registrar of the university, in the same case, sentencing them to 12 years and six months of RI and a fine of Rs 62,000 each.

Handing down the judgement last week, Special Judge A S Gattani, who is hearing a bunch of cases pertaining to the scandal, ordered the university to cancel the degree of Bachelor of Engineering and the mark list issued to Gupta. However, the case against two other accused, scrutinisers Suresh Manmode and Shyam Shinde, abated as they expired during the trial.

The court found Gupta was guilty under sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In addition to these sections, the court found Thakre and Kalamkar guilty also under section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC.

According to the prosecution, Gupta appeared for the third year examination of degree in Civil Engineering in summer of 1998, but failed in the subjects Theory of Structures (ToS) and Limit State Design (LSD). He applied for revaluation, during which he was awarded 33 marks in ToS and 32 in LSD. However, in connivance with Thakre and Kalamkar, Manmode and Shinde recorded 38 as his score in ToS and 36 in LSD, thus helping him clear the exam, the prosecution said.

This is the second time that Thakre and Kalamkar have been convicted in a case related to the infamous scandal. The same court had earlier convicted them in November last, but the High Court here has stayed the decision. This was the ninth case to be decided out of the 108 cases that the police has filed in court in connection with the scandal.


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