A city-based doctor, who was arrested on Monday on the charges of extortion, land grabbing, cheating and usurping a hospital, was a member of search panels for selecting a Vice-Chancellor for Madurai Kamaraj University in 2008 and 2011.

A police complaint states that Dr. S. Navaneethakrishnan is the personal physician of Union Minister M.K. Alagiri.

He figured in the three-member V-C search panel constituted in February before the Assembly elections.

Official sources in the university told The Hindu on Tuesday that he was the unanimous choice of the Syndicate to be on the search panel to choose a successor for R. Karpaga Kumaravel, whose three-year tenure ended in April. His name was recommended to the Governor at the Syndicate meeting held in February.

Dr. Navaneethakrishnan, who runs a nursing home on New Jail Road here, was also a member on the V-C search panel formed prior to the appointment of Dr. Karpaga Kumaravel in 2008.

Following the directive from Commissioner of Police P. Kannappan, the Central Crime Branch registered a case based on a complaint received from a Singapore-based NRI family that they were cheated in a multi-speciality hospital dealing in Madurai.

The name of a DMK functionary, ‘Pottu' Suresh, was also mentioned in the complaint since the affected family had complained of a threatening phone call received from the office of ‘Pottu' Suresh in 2009 to withdraw the earlier complaint made at Karimedu police station here.

The search panel is, however, yet to be officially constituted through a gazette notification since the new government took over in the State.

MKU has been functioning without a Vice-Chancellor since April 20.

Two doctors, including Dr. Navaneethakrishnan, were produced before a city court on Monday. They have been remanded to judicial custody till September 5.

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