India is a country where if you have money and the right connections, can bend any rules, flout any law, and buy anyone. Scams in admissions and permissions for medical colleges are happening for several years all over the country.
When the CBI arrested the then MCI Chairman, Ketan Desai while receiving 2 crores bribe for granting recognition to a medical college, the entire nation was shocked about the scale of corruption in the MCI. The CBI, after the arrest of Ketan Desai, reviewed the cases of all medical colleges granted affiliation by Ketan Desai and registered several cases.
But, the corruption in private medical colleges continued unabated and it did not even spare the former Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra.
This is another case of large scale corruption, involving a fraudster. A.N.Radhakrishnan, started a polytechnic in the year 1983. From thereon, his growth is unstoppable. The following are the institutions which are being run by A.N.Radhakrishnan, under the Trust, Sri.Muthukumaran Educational Trust.
1983-Meenakshi Ammal polytechnic college.
1985-Arulmigu Meenakshi Amman college of engineering.
1990-Meenakshi Amman Dental college.
1993-M.G.R. Institute of Hotel management &techmology.
1995-Sri Muthukumaran Institute of Technology.
1998-Meenakshi Ammal Matriculation Hr.sec.school,
Meenakshi college of Nursing,
Meenakshi college of Physiotherapy.
2001-Meenakshi College of Engineering,
Meenakshi Ammal Arts and Science college,
Sri Muthukumaran Arts and Science college.
2002-Vani Vidhyalaya Senior Secondary & junior college.
2003-Meenakshi Medical College Hospital & Research institute.
2005-Meenakshi Ammal Teacher Training Institute.
2006-Arulmigu Meenakshi college of Education,
Sri Muthukumaran College of Education.
2010-Sri Muthukumaran Medical college Hospital & Research Institute.
2011-Mangadu Public school.
2012-Arulmigu Meenakshi Amman public school,
Meenakshi Ammal Global school.
One among the above institutes is Sri Muthukumaran Medical College and Research Institute. The institution got permission to admit 150 students from the year 2010-2011 and periodically this permission was renewed by the Medical Council of India till 2013-14.
After several complaints of irregularities were sent to the MCI and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the MCI refused permission the institution for the year 2013-14.
The MCI, cited the following discrepancies for refusing permission to the Muthukumaran Medical College.
a) Seven out of nine senior Residents in General Surgery have not been considered as their names were not found in any OT list of previous months after their appointment and they had no residence proof as per MCI requirement. Four of them were absent at 11 AM attendance also.
Resultantly, there is shortage of Residents as 8.4% (i.e 17 out of 143) as detailed in report.
b) Planning permission application is still under consideration of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and is not yet approved.
c) Clinical material is inadequate on the day of assessment. OPD attendance was 620 and bed occupancy was 60%.
d) Histopathological & Cytopathological workload are inadequate.
e) On the day of assessment, there were only 2 patients each in SICU & RICU. There was no patient in PICU.
After this rejection several skeletons started tumbling out. The college had submitted a fake building approval by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and had obtained permission from MCI. The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a Preliminary Enquiry into the approval granted to this institution.
After completion of enquiry, the CBI, held as follows :
“Enquiry caused with the local authorities, Commissioner of Chikkarayapuram Village Panchaytat and Mangadu Town Panchayat revealed that no plan approvals has been issued to any of the buildings built by the Trust at Chikkarayapuram and Mangadu villages. Further as per the instructions of CMDA vide letter dated 15.05.2013 to issue lock and seal notice to Sri Muthukumaran Medical College, a notice was issued s per provisions of Section 34 of Tamil Nadu Panchayat Building Rules, 1997 on 05.06.2013. Further notices were issued on 09.05.2011 to The Correspondent, Sri Muthukumaran Medical College and Research Institute to stop work and calling for the approved plan.
Enquiry thus revealed that the plan permission purported to be approved for the construction of the medical college of Sri Muthukumaran Educational Trust has not been issued by the CMDA authorities and that they have not issued any plan approval till date for any of the buildings of Sri Muthukumaran Trust at Chikkarayapuram or Mangadu villages. As such it is evident that the college authorities have submitted fake and fabricated plan approvals for obtaining approval from MCI. It is also evident from the regularization proposal of the trust that none of the buildings have been approved by the CMDA authorities till date.”
Following the report of the CBI, Deputy Planner of CMDA filed a complaint with the Central Crime Branch of the Chennai City Police for registration of a case and a case in Cr. No. 192 of 2015 was registered for cheating, falsification of records etc. against the Trustees of Muthukumaran Educational Trust, including its Chairman A.N.Radhakrishnan. Apart from permission for medical college, A.N.Radhakrishnan had also taken the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for a ride by submitting fake planning permission. Another case in Cr. No. 158 of 2015 was also registered against A.N.Radhakrishnan based on the complaint by AICTE. He along with his wife Gomathy were arrested in both the cases spent some time in prison.
In 2014, Muthukumaran college management approached the Madras High Court challenging the rejection of approval by MCI. While dismissing the writ petition, the Madras High Court was scathing in its order. Justice V.Ramasubramaniam, who dismissed the writ petition observed thus in his order :
Another letter dated 04.03.2014 sent by the CMDA to the petitioner college, contains information which is much still more shocking. In this letter, the CMDA had indicated that the petitioner applied for planning permission for the first time on 08.07.2013 and that the CMDA called for certain particulars by a third letter dated 16.12.2013. One of the documents that the petitioner appears to have submitted to the CMDA is a letter from the Public Works Department for re-routing of a channel. In other words, the college appears to be located not only in land which is owned entirely by the trust which runs the petitioner college but also in a land which happens to be a public water course. I do not know how the Public Works Department could give no objection certificate for re-routing a channel, especially in the light of the special enactment in the State namely the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachments Act, 2007
The communication exchanged between the petitioner and the CMDA and the Medical Council of India discloses (1) that the petitioner never obtained any approval for the construction of the buildings; and (2) that some pockets of land on which the petitioner college is located, are actually Government Poramboke lands in which there is actually a water course. In such circumstances, I wonder how the Government can even grant regularisation, unless they violate the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachments Act 2007.
Three things are very clear namely (a) that the petitioner never had any approval from any authority including the Local Panchayat; (b) that some of the lands over which the college has been put up, are poramboke lands belonging to the Government; and (c) that there is a water course in some pockets of the lands over which the petitioner college has come up. These facts are found even from the very documents filed by the petitioner. I am unable to believe that the petitioner obtained approval of the Panchayat, at a time when the area did not come within the purview of the CMDA. If that is so, the petitioner ought to have filed a copy of the approval granted by the Panchayat. Moreover, in the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition, the petitioner has not made a positive assertion that they had obtained building plan approval from the Local Body. Therefore, it is clear that the entire edifice of the institution is built on foundations of illegality, from out of which, 150 men professing a noble profession are sought to be produced year after year.
The deficiency relating to non-approval of the building plan, cannot be ignored in view of the fact that the very continued existence of the buildings depends upon the fate of the application for regularisation. This is not a simple case of approval for the regularisation of buildings put up without planning permission. It is a case of construction on poramboke lands and construction on a water course. “
The above order of the Madras High Court not only proves that the Muthukumaran group of institutions did not have an inch of planning permission but also have encroached water bodies and government lands.
The Madras High Court in several orders have issued directions to the Chennai City Police to complete the investigation and file charge sheets in both Crime numbers 158 and 192 of 2015 against the management of Muthukumaran Educational Trust. But, the Central Crime Branch of the Chennai City Police, is yet to wake up from its deep slumber.
The CMDA, as late as 29.04.2019 has issued a fresh demolition notice to the institution. But, no action seems to be taken in this regard.
This is not the end of story. The Muthukumaran Medical College, has for the academic year 2019-2020, has ‘managed’ to obtain permission from the Dr. MGR Medical University to admit students. TN Health Secretary Ms.Beela Rajesh IAS and gutkha scam fame Health Minister Vijayabaskar are reported to have pressurized the University’s vice chancellor Dr. Sudha Seshaiyan in granting permission to the college. This has to be subsequently ratified by the MCI. In case the MCI refuses to grant permission, around 150 students will be left in lurch.
A Public Interest Litigation was filed against the Muthukumaran Medical College from admitting students for the medical course and the Madras High Court has ordered notices to all the authorities. However, the MHC refused to issue any interim direction. When the matter again comes up for hearing by on 30th July 2019, the admissions might be got over and the litigation itself may become infructuous.
From the CMDA officials to officials in the MCI, Health Ministry, State Health Department are all involved in this scam and they go out of the way to ensure, an illegal Medical college is up and running.
Filthy rich parents who want to see their wards as medical practitioners would not mind paying crores to admit their wards into this institute which lacks infrastructure, faculty, etc. But, imagine the fate of patients who would be treated in the hands of such doctors.