Nearly 70 students of professional courses likely to lose seats

The State government has ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into the alleged fraud during admissions to professional courses, particularly in 2013-14.

The government has suspended S.P. Kulkarni, Administrative Officer, Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), for allegedly tampering with the documents (at the CET document verification stage) to favour a few students during counselling for last year’s CET rank holders.

With 70 students likely to lose their seats, Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande said here on Monday that the KEA issued show-cause notices to students as well as the certificate-issuing authorities such as tahsildars and principals of the institutions. They had been given a fortnight’s time to reply, after which a decision would be taken, he said.

Mr. Deshpande told presspersons that the government would soon decide if the CID probe would cover only last year’s admissions or the previous years’ too. If officers were found to have tampered with the documents, they would not be spared, he warned.

Mr. Deshpande said that the administrative officer allegedly changed the category of 70 students to ensure seats for them during counselling. A legal committee had been set up to verify documents produced by students, he said.

As many as 122 sets of 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. Fraud was committed in admissions to engineering, medical and pharmacy seats, he said.

As per the KEA order issued on May 24, 2013, students were allowed to verify documents only once and there was no scope for verification for the second time. However, the officials received applications from students for verification of documents for the second time, Mr. Deshpande said and termed it “illegal.”

The officials should not have received applications from 122 students for verification of documents for the second time. The KEA officials should have rejected it, he said.

Asked why the government had not ordered a Lokayukta probe, Mr. Deshpande said, “We will examine it.”

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