Days after the CBI accused two founders of Ashoka University – the Gupta brothers – of over ₹1,600 crore fraud, the two have stepped down from all boards and committees of the educational institution.

Vineet and Pranab Gupta – whose name featured as trustees and co-founders of the university – have been charged of fraud worth ₹1,626.74 crore involving their Chandigarh-based pharmaceutical company Parabolic Drugs.

The central investigating agency, in a statement, said that the accused cheated the consortium of banks “by criminal conspiracy, forgery, using forged documents knowing the same to be forged and availed the loan funds and thereafter diverted the same”.

University distances itself

In a statement, the Sonipat-based university distanced itself from business of its founders. The university said it had over 200 founders and donors who have made personal philanthropic contributions.

“The CBI investigation of Parabolic Drugs and its Directors has nothing to do with Ashoka University. Any attempt to create a link is frivolous and misleading. The University has over 200 founders and donors who have made personal philanthropic contributions to Ashoka. Their individual business dealings and operations have no connection to the University,” it said in a statement.

The university further added: “In keeping with the high standards for governance at Ashoka, Vineet and Pranav Gupta have already voluntarily stepped down from all boards and committees of the University pending the CBI case and are cooperating fully with the investigations.”

Searches at 12 locations

CBI sources told BusinessLine that the charges against the Gupta brothers were not related to the university and nor were searches carried out at the institute.

The agency was conducting a detailed enquiry into allegations that in the name of this pharmaceutical company, the Gupta brothers used forged documents to secure loans from various public banks including the State Bank of India, UCO Bank, State Bank of Patiala, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, Central Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Exim Bank, Canara Bank and SIDBI.

Searches were conducted at 12 locations including Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Faridabad & Delhi at the office/residential premises of the accused which resulted in recovery of incriminating documents, articles, cash amount of ₹1,58,96,000 (approximate).