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Meghalaya cops get Jha custody for 10 days

Arrested CMJ chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha comes out of the office of the Meghalaya DGP in Shillong on Thursday and (above) Jha on his way to court. Pictures by UB Photos

Shillong, April 24: Meghalaya police today got hold of what they had been seeking for nearly a year now — custody of CMJ University chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha.

Jha, who is also an Independent nominee from the Jhanjharpur parliamentary constituency in Bihar, was brought to the state capital this evening from Guwahati airport after he landed from Calcutta.

Shortly after his arrival here, Jha was first taken to the police headquarters before he was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate B. Joshi.

In the court, the police sought 14 days’ custody of Jha, but the court granted only 10 days.

The custody came after Jha was arrested on Tuesday from Godhanpur Chowk in Madhubani district of Bihar — while he was reportedly canvassing for votes — in connection with the affairs of the CMJ University here.

A team of Meghalaya CID sleuths with the assistance of Bihar police had arrested Jha.

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

“The police custody was sought as we wanted to know more about the facts of the case as he (Jha) was supervising the affairs of the private university,” a source said.

Another source said Jha’s legal team is likely to move an application tomorrow before the court to seek relief.

Moreover, sources said, Jha’s legal team had opposed the submission for custody. The contention was that the police had to rely on documentary evidence and when the documents had been seized last year, the custody was not required, the sources said.

Jha’s arrest on Tuesday came more than a month after the Supreme Court had cancelled his anticipatory bail on March 7.

From the latter part of last year and until the early part of this year, Jha had been appearing before the investigating team here while his anticipatory bail was still valid.

The CID sleuths had earlier arrested a few people including the registrar and deputy registrar of the private varsity.

Former Meghalaya governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, who was also the visitor to the university, first brought the CMJ University case to light.

Mooshahary — whose fate as an Independent candidate from the Kokrajhar parliamentary constituency was sealed in voting machines today — had alleged that there were several anomalies pertaining to the functioning of the private university.

The university had allegedly awarded PhD degrees to 434 students during 2012-13 and enrolled 490 students for PhD programme during 2012-2013. Mooshahary alleged that there had been “mismanagement, maladministration, indiscipline and failure” in accomplishing the objectives of the university.

He had also lodged an FIR against it on April 26, 2013. Following the complaint, a police case was registered with the CID police station (case no. 2 (4) 2013 under Sections 420/406/466 of the IPC).

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.


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