After a long legal battle of nearly 10 years, former IGNOU Vice-Chancellor VN Rajasekharan Pillai has been acquitted by a special CBI court in a corruption case. Additionally, Rajneesh Arora, former vice-chancellor of Punjab Technical University, and RPS Bedi, the then joint registrar, have also been acquitted in a case related to alleged corruption and forgery in allowing the university to run certain courses through distance mode from the academic year 2007.
Naresh Kumar Laka, Special Judge, Special CBI Court, said that there had been demands for criminal prosecution of very high-level dignitaries. Still, the CBI has done so regardless of whether the elements of the alleged offenses are present in the case. Presented only the charge sheet. Officials said the CBI, which started the probe in 2011 with a preliminary inquiry, had registered an FIR against Pillai, Arora, and Bedi under criminal conspiracy, forgery, and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A criminal trial is not initiated based on conjectures or presumptions but requires sufficient material to be shown on the record by the prosecution, which failed, the special judge said. He said that Punjab Technical University is a government university of the state of Punjab, and it has not been made an accused. The court acquitted the three accused from the case with the condition that if the order is challenged in the High Court, they would have to appear before it.
The CBI had alleged that the University Grants Commission, the All India Council for Technical Education, and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 10, 2007, to set up an expert committee Went. The CBI alleged that Pillai violated the MoU and unilaterally allowed the Punjab Technical University to run some courses through distance mode. The court rejected this allegation.