Mumbai: The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court has denied bail to Appasaheb Deshmukh, a 61-year-old former treasurer of Shree Chatrapati Shivaji Education Society (SCSES), implicated in a money laundering case amounting to Rs 65.70 crore. The funds in question were fees collected from parents for admissions in the MBBS program, despite lacking authorisation to do so.
Special Judge MG Deshpande ruled that granting bail could lead to the accused causing the disappearance of evidence during the ongoing ED investigation due to the sophisticated methods employed in siphoning off, placing, layering, and integrating the proceeds of crime.
Rs 4.12 crore was traced to Deshmukh's account
The court observed that out of the total amount collected by the institution, Rs 4.12 crore was traced to Deshmukh's accounts. The ED alleged that the accused had integrated the cash amounts with agricultural and business income, falsely claiming the entire sum as untainted.
Rejecting the bail plea, the court emphasised the severity of the situation, stating, "There are multiple First Information Reports lodged all over Maharashtra at the instance of victim students/parents against accused persons herein. It cannot be ignored that innocent parents had put their entire life earnings on the stake for getting admissions for their children in MBBS."
The court further condemned the accused for inducing parents, unaware of the Supreme Court's order restricting admissions, to pay hefty fees for MBBS admissions through the Management Quota, thereby crushing the dreams of innocent students and wasting their valuable academic years.
According to complaints filed by parents, the society initiated a medical college named Institute of Medical Science and Research Center (IMSRC) in 2011. IMSRC allegedly granted MBBS admissions for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 (100 seats per year), with 85 seats in the Government quota and 15 in the Management quota. However, after 2013-2014, the Medical Council of India did not renew the permission despite allowing 15 seats under the Management quota for two years. No further permission was granted.
Amid ongoing legal issues, the President of the Admission Control Committee, Mumbai, imposed a fine of Rs. 20 lakh per student in May 2016, directing the institution to deposit 10% within 10 days and the remaining 90% within 90 days. Despite this, the institution failed to make payments, and 95 students suffered the consequences.