Show-cause notice issued to 70 students, officials

Just months ahead of the Common Entrance Test (CET), S.P. Kulkarni, Administrative Officer of the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), has been suspended on the charge of tampering with documents of students.

The decision came after the KEA submitted an inquiry report on Mr. Kulkarni’s alleged involvement in tampering with documents (at the CET document verification stage) to favour a few students during counselling for last year’s CET rank-holders. Sources said that the order was issued by Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee. The government, however, is yet to appoint a new administrative officer, whose role is considered to be vital in conducting the CET in the first week of May and counselling after the results are announced.

Though the suspension order is yet to reach the KEA, Mr. Kulkarni has been asked to go on 10 days’ leave, KEA officials said.

Karnataka Examinations Authority sources said that the inquiry report found prima facie evidence that Mr. Kulkarni had, during counselling for admissions to government and government-quota seats for the academic year 2013-14, changed the category of 70 students to ensure seats for them.

The sources said that 122 documents were verified and it was found that the category of students had been changed from “general merit” to “rural” and other categories to benefit them. While a majority of these cases involve engineering seats, there are some medical seats as well.

Higher Education Department officials, however, refused to comment.

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