The Chennai Central Crime Branch on Friday arrested the SRM University chancellor T.R. Pachamuthu alias Pari Vendhar, following an overnight interrogation in connection with the mysterious disappearance of film producer Madhan and allegedly cheating medical course aspirants.

Mr. Pachamuthu, who also heads the Indiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK), which had allied with the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, was being questioned by the police since Thursday evening at the old City Police Commissionerate in Egmore.

The founder of the SRM group of institutions, which has in its fold a deemed university, an engineering college, a medical college and a school, emerged as a suspect in the case soon after Mr. Madhan — his close aide and the one who set up Vendhar Movies — had gone missing some months ago. After Mr. Madhan’s family filed a habeas corpus petition in the Madras High Court, some aspiring medical course students and their parents had alleged that Mr. Madhan had vanished after collecting several crores of rupees from them promising to get them admission into the SRM University.

 Recently, the Madras High Court had rapped the police for not questioning Mr. Pachamuthu’s suspected role in the admission scandal and threatened to transfer the probe to an external agency. This had prompted the police to interrogate him.

On Friday, the CCB registered cases against him under Sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (punishment for breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code and arrested him. He was then taken to the Judicial Magistrate Court at Saidapet for remand.

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