CMJ suffers apex court blow

University asked to deposit over Rs 15. 62 cr frozen amount

SHILLONG: The controversial   Chancellor of CMJ University Chandra Mohan Jha is in trouble after the Supreme Court on Friday asked him to deposit the frozen amount of over Rs 15. 62 crore (Rs. 15,62,43,477.46p) withdrawn by him soon after the High Court in  October last year allowed releasing of the amount.
The Counsel for the state government and the Supreme Court lawyer Ranjan Mukherjee said on Saturday over phone from Delhi that during the hearing on Friday, the Apex Court asked Jha to reimburse the amount which has already been taken out from several of his accounts.
Mukherjee  said Jha has been asked to re-deposit the amount within 21 days.
Congress leader and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal represented  Jha in Apex Court.
Earlier, following an order of the trial court here last year after the police filed charge-sheet, an amount of over Rs 30. 42 crore  (Rs.30,42,87,709.17p)was frozen by the Investigating Officer  during the inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the functioning of the University.
Later, after Jha filed a case in the High Court, and in an order on October 13 last year, the Court allowed release of  Rs.15.62 crore out of the frozen amount of over Rs.30.42 crore.
Former Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh had ordered the release of frozen money as Jha’s counsel had pleaded that he had to meet some financial obligations of the CMJ Foundation, the CMJ University and also in respect of individual liability.
The High Court had ordered that Rs.10,26,68,744  should be de-frozen from 17 fixed deposits and one savings deposit accounts in the name of CMJ Foundation in Punjab National Bank, Shillong.
The Court had also ordered de-freezing of another seven fixed deposits and saving accounts amounting to Rs.5,35,74,733 from Axis Bank, Shillong.
The investigation officer had frozen as many as 67 fixed deposits and savings accounts in the name of CM  Jha, wife Indu Rani Jha, sons Govind Jha and Gopal Jha , CMJ University and CMJ Foundation at Punjab National Bank.
Similarly, 42 accounts were frozen in Axis Bank, Shillong by the investigation officer which were in the names of C.M. Jha, wife Indu Rani Jha, sons Govind and Gopal and CMJ Foundation.
Two saving accounts in the name of CMJ University were frozen in Union Bank of India, Nebsarai Branch, New Delhi, while another savings account in the name of CMJ University was also frozen in ICICI Bank, Shillong branch.
However, after the state government filed a Special Leave Petition against the order of High Court of Meghalaya, the Supreme Court in an interim order on November 20 last year stayed the order of High Court.
However, by the time, CM Jha had already withdrawn the amount of frozen amount from the banks, though they were told not to release the amount after supplying copies of the Supreme  Court order , the lawyer of the state government Mukherjee said.          During the hearing on Friday in the Apex Court, Kapil Sibal on behalf of Jha  had argued about the need to release the statutory dues (salary of the staff, electricity and other dues) which, however was challenged by the state government’s lawyer who said that since University is still under lock and key , the question does not arise. Mukherjee has submitted during the hearing that since the Supreme Court’s interim order was in force, Jha should maintain status quo ante, which means, that he should re-deposit the amount which was found favour with the Apex Court.

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