Jindal Group comes clean on land row

Jindal Group comes clean on land row

The Jindal Group of Industries has described as “totally wrong, devoid of truth and malicious” the allegation that it was buying Bangalore University (BU) land for a song in exchange for the donation of Rs 100 crore to the varsity’s proposed Bangalore School of Economics (BSE).

The Vice-Chairman of the Sitaram Jindal Foundation, R K Raghunath, denied on Tuesday that the group was interested in the property of the university. “We did not ask any land in the first place. So, there is no question of buying it for a song,” he told Deccan Herald.
Raghunath was referring to the allegation levelled by BU Registrar (Administration) B C Mylarappa that the Group was buying BU land worth Rs 250 crore for a meagre Rs 50.

“It’s a malicious information spread by the Registrar. The chairman of the Group, Sitaram Jindal, had offered to donate the money when the Vice-Chancellor, N Prabhu Dev, informed him that land was already available in the university,” Raghunath added.

The proposed school of economics, to be named after Jindal, would be built by BU as per its requirement. The university alone would own and run it, Raghunath said.

While Raghunath claimed “Sitaram Jindal will not have any role in the management or administration of the institute,” the firm will have a nominee in the management committee.
He said that the nominee would only ensure that the company’s money was “properly utilised”.

“But his/her role will end there,” he claimed. He also said that Mangalore and Tumkur Universities as well as the National Law School of India University wanted Jindal to donate the money for their respective institutions. But he chose BU as Dev came forward with a detailed report and showed keen interest. “(But) instead of supporting such a noble cause, the Registrar is making baseless allegations against the V-C and defaming the university. If he continues such an attitude, the foundation will be constrained to take legal action,” he warned.

He reiterated that the Group would stand by the offer and would not buckle under any pressure. “Even if it comes up outside the university campus, we are okay,” he said.

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