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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Fake certificate row of former student wing member puts Kerala CPM in a spot

K. Vidya is accused of forging the experience certificate of Maharaja’s College, an autonomous institution based in Kochi

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 13.06.23, 05:36 AM

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A former member of CPM’s student wing has put the party and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala in a spot by allegedly forging a work experience certificate.

K. Vidya, 27, is accused of forging the experience certificate of Maharaja’s College, an autonomous institution based in Kochi, which helped her get temporary teaching jobs at Karinthalam College in Kasaragod where she worked from June 2022 to March 2023, and later at the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Arts College in Attappady in Palakkad district.

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While the college in Kasaragod didn’t run a background check, the Palakkad college authorities ran the document through Maharaja’s College that confirmed it was fake. Maharaja’s College lodged a police complaint.

Vidya switched off her mobile and absconded as the alleged forgery became a hotly discussed topic in the state.

With the Opposition Congress launching a protest, the government was forced to act.

Vidya has been booked under IPC sections 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for the purposes of cheating), and 471 (punishment for using forged documents as genuine).

In the interim, she moved an anticipatory bail plea in Kerala High Court, citing that IPC sections 465 and 471 are bailable offences and an arrest would affect her future since she is still unmarried.

Maharaja’s College authorities told the police that the rubber stamp and signature on Vidya’s certificate were fake. According to the fake certificate, Vidya taught at the college during 2018-19 and then again in 2020-21.

The Congress’s campus wing Kerala Students Union (KSU) continued its protests seeking the arrest of Vidya and all those who helped her in getting the fake certificate.

A KSU protest questioning the delay in arresting Vidya turned violent in Kozhikode on Monday. The police used water cannons to disperse the protesters.

Former academic and Malayalam writer M.N. Karassery sought a comprehensive probe to find out why the college in Kasaragod did not run a background check. “I have been an academic for three decades and we have never employed anyone without a proper background check,” the former head of the Malayalam department at Calicut University told The Telegraph on Monday.

He cited the “arrogance” of the ruling CPM and its various arms for the imbroglio. “The CPM has to blame its own arrogance for having secured a second consecutive term in office for all these issues. They seem to have forgotten their core duty of serving the people and not their cadres.”

The CPM has disowned Vidya. Former health minister and CPM lawmaker K.K. Shailaja on Monday told a channel that anyone indulging in such malpractices should realise that they would be caught. "It is not right to claim non-existent degrees or experience."

LDF convener and senior CPM leader E.P. Jayarajan had earlier disowned Vidya and said she never held any leadership position in the SFI.

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