Madhya Pradesh High Court cancels recognition of 19 colleges over alleged scam, transfers cases to Jabalpur benchtext_fields
Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh High Court has taken a significant step in the ongoing nursing scam case in the state.
On Tuesday, the court transferred 40 cases related to the scam from its Gwalior bench to the principal bench in Jabalpur. The court also dismissed a petition filed by the nursing council, challenging the cancellation of the registration of 19 nursing colleges in the state. These colleges faced action due to allegations of fraudulent claims regarding the number of faculty members. Notably, six out of these 19 colleges are located in Gwalior.
The nursing scam revolves around fake recognition and affiliations granted to nursing colleges by the nursing council. The petitioners, including Vishal Baghel, the chief of the Madhya Pradesh Law Student Association, have asserted that these affiliations were granted under political pressure, and many of these colleges only existed on paper or operated from single-room rented accommodations.
The court has been particularly concerned with the role of Stella Peter, who served as an Inspector and recommended recognition for 46 colleges in 2020. Subsequently, during an audit in 2021, 70 fake colleges were identified, and it was found that 16 of them had been opened based on Peter's recommendations. The court has been urged to take action against her.
Peter had been a member of the executive committee of the nursing council in 2020, and on the council's recommendation, 660 colleges were given recognition. However, more than 200 of these colleges have either closed down or had their recognition revoked.
The petitioners have also highlighted Peter's subsequent promotion to the position of registrar of the nursing council, which has raised concerns about potential favoritism and irregularities.
During the hearing, the director of medical education informed the court that Sunita Shiju, the former registrar, had been transferred from Bhopal to Indore.
With the cases now transferred to the principal bench in Jabalpur, the court will decide on the next course of action, including the possibility of handing the case over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for further investigation.
The next hearing is scheduled to take place after a week.