By Tanuj Kalia
NOTE: The post was first published on December 7, 6 PM.
Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Assistant Professor at the College of Legal Studies, UPES Dehradun has been caught red handed asking for a bribe of Rs. 25,000 to wrongly rectify the attendance shortage of a student studying in the college.
Some time back the same student was asked to pay a bribe of Rs. 1.5 lakh to avoid a ‘year back’.
Another student confirmed being asked to pay Rs. 50,000 to avoid being debarred from a subject due to attendance shortage.
The students told Lawctopus that a couple of the UPES’ students also have the bank receipts for such transactions.
Lawctopus has access to the audio recordings of the phone calls between Dr. Kumar and the concerned students and parents.
We’ve also confirmed the news with four current students and an alumni of UPES Dehradun.
According to independent sources, around 5 such confirmed instances of ‘money for attendance’ all involving Dr. Ramesh Kumar have happened.
A source on the condition of confidentiality told us that a regular practice of Dr. Kumar is to make up a list of students falling on the ‘borderline’ of attendance shortage and then call up the parents of such students filling them on chances of a ‘year back’ and the repercussions and expenses such an event would incur.
On the third or the fourth phone call, Dr. Kumar goads the parent into paying him a bribe.
[UPDATE 1, 10.30 AM]: We tried reaching the UPES’ administration for an official response, but they were not available for comment.
Please note that the earlier title of the post read: UPES Dehradun’s Professor Caught Red-Handed Asking for a Bribe for Attendance [Audio Recordings]. The same has been edited now to include and reflect the University’s response i.e update 2.
[UPDATE 2, 6.15 PM]: We’ve received a reply by the University via email. Below is the content of the email, reproduced verbatim. Emphasis in bold is ours.
A complaint was received alleging that Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Assistant Professor Selection Grade of the College of Legal Studies had purportedly asked for money from a student’s parents for improving the attendance record of a student in his charge, so as to enable him to qualify for appearing in the examinations.
Based on this allegation, Dr. Ramesh Kumar was suspended immediately from duty on 5th December, 2014.
An investigation has been initiated on this matter. A departmental enquiry for misconduct and violation of the University Rules governing discipline and good conduct of employees has been ordered.
Pending findings of the investigation, the faculty has been declared persona non grata and asked not to enter the campus without permission as also not to exercise any pressure on complainants / their parents to influence the proceedings.
The email further said: This prompt action of the University shows that UPES has zero tolerance for such kind of misconduct and disciplinary behavior. This act of University is a clear message that there is no place for corruption in UPES.
See Mr. Ramesh Kumar’s profile on the UPES’ website here.
He is also the Head of Department (HOD) of College of Legal Studies and the HOD of the Department of Post Graduate Studies.
A small note to the 5th years
We’ve received calls from at least a dozen 5th year students asking us to take down the post because it harms the reputation of college especially w.r.t the placements.
This is an unfortunate case of selfish, short-term interests taking over long-term, larger issues. At the same time it must be said that your concerns are understandable and expected; but they are definitely highly mis-informed!
Please note that when such things come out in the open it creates a pressure on the administration to act and if the administration acts well, it only makes the college better, improving its reputation in the long run. Take HNLU and their students’ protest, for example. See here.
Good institutions are built from sturdier stuff than that which crumbles down in a day.
Secondly, as far as the placements go, no recruiter is stupid enough to think that because of one bad apple, the institution itself is ‘bad’. They’ll probably treat this as a one off incident.
If the students show their mettle during the internships or the interviews, no good recruiter will reject you. Recruiters want talent!