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Varsity head netted in Bihar

Shillong, April 23: In this era of selfies, this “educationist” is a trailblazer: after all, he became a graduate 29 years after he completed his matriculation!

The chancellor of the CMJ University in Meghalaya, Chandra Mohan Jha, is also a crorepati with at least three cases against him in Patna and Shillong. Contesting the Lok Sabha polls as an Independent nominee from Bihar, Jha, 59, made the declaration in the affidavit he filed for the parliamentary elections.

Jha is one of the 19 candidates who are in the electoral ring from Jhanjharpur parliamentary constituency in Bihar. Declaring himself an “educationist, businessman and social worker”, Jha yesterday found himself in the unlikely company of policemen while he was reportedly campaigning for votes.

A team of Meghalaya CID personnel, with the help of Bihar police, arrested Jha in the afternoon from Godhanpur Chowk in Madhubani district. Jha hails from Marukia under Madhubani. He was taken from Patna to Calcutta today and will be brought to Shillong tomorrow.

Jhanjharpur, which goes to polls on April 30, is located around 200km north of Patna.

As per the affidavit available with the chief electoral officer of Bihar, Jha completed his matriculation from Bahu Uddesiya Higher Secondary School, Sabaur, Bhagalpur, in 1972, the year Meghalaya — which he later on chose as the place to establish the now controversial CMJ University — was born.

Twenty-nine years later, he completed his graduation in 2001 from the Madurai Kamraj University and went on to obtain his post-graduation degree in 2004 from the same university.

Jha has declared that he obtained his doctorate from the Inter-Cultural Open University, Holland in 2008.

The crorepati also declared of having movable assets worth Rs 2,59,65,735. As part of the assets, he declared that he had loaned money to two trusts — North Eastern India Trust for Education and Development (NEITED) and the CMJ Foundation. While to NEITED he loaned Rs 2,87,017, the loan to CMJ Foundation was Rs 25,15,000.

The CMJ Foundation is the sponsoring body of CMJ University.

He also owns a double-barrel gun worth Rs 8,100 and a revolver worth Rs 16,000. His wife’s movable assets were pegged at Rs 95,47,913. Jha further declared that he has bonds/debentures/shares in companies worth more than Rs 40 lakh. One such company is known as Spiderman Merchants Pvt. Ltd.

Jha’s immovable assets, consisting of various properties, are worth more than Rs 7 crore while that of his spouse are more than Rs 2 crore. His and his spouse’s liabilities are more than Rs 50,000. During the 2012-13 financial year, Jha filed income tax returns of Rs 9,63,437.

The CMJ University chancellor further declared that he has three cases against him — two in Patna and one in Shillong.

In the court of the judicial magistrate first class, Patna, there was a complaint against Jha under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, and under Section 138 (dishonour of cheque for insufficiency etc. of funds in bank account) of Negotiable Instruments Act.

The second complaint, being dealt with by the court of the special judge, economic offences, Patna, was made under various sections of the Companies Act, 1956 on alleged violation of norms under the act.

While the first case was challenged before Patna High Court where a stay order was also given, the prayer for relief under the second case is pending disposal, Jha declared in his affidavit.

The third case was the in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Shillong (CBI Special Case) under Sections 120B, 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420, 467 (forgery), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the IPC.

Jha’s arrest came nearly a year since CMJ University made headlines. The university was established in 2009 following a bill passed by the Meghalaya Assembly, which became an act (CMJ University Act, 2009) after receiving the governor’s assent.

Then Meghalaya governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, who was visitor to the university, had brought to light several alleged anomalies in relation to the functioning of the private university.

The university allegedly awarded PhD degrees to 434 students during 2012-13 and enrolled 490 students for the PhD programme during 2012-2013.

Mooshahary alleged that there had been “mismanagement, maladministration, indiscipline and failure” in accomplishing the objectives of the university. He also lodged an FIR against it on April 26, 2013.

Subsequently, a police case was registered with the CID police station (case No. 2 (4) 2013 under Sections 420/406/466 of IPC).


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