Ashoka University co-founders step down after fraud charges by CBI

New DelhiAshoka University co-founders Vineet Gupta and Pranav Gupta have stepped down from all the boards and committees of the university, days after being booked by the CBI in a Rs 1600-crore fraud case, even as the institute has denied any link to the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has charged the Gupta brothers with an alleged swindle of Rs 1,626 crore involving their Chandigarh-based pharmaceutical company, Parabolic Drugs.

The Sonepat-based university clarified that it has nothing to do with the CBI probe involving Parabolic Drugs Limited and its directors, and 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.

“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 investigation,” it added.

Following the registration of an FIR, the CBI conducted searches last Friday at the office and residential premises of the accused at 12 locations in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Faridabad and Delhi.

According to the agency, the accused have cheated a 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”.

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