Could the private tuition lobby be behind the question paper leak in the second Pre University Course (PUC) examination? The Department of Pre University Education thinks so, given the hint by Director of PU Education Rashmi V. Mahesh. The suspicion has risen after the State Government's decision to suspend 14 college lecturers teaching at Government PU colleges in Chintamani, Chickaballapur and Srinivasapura.

Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, Ms. Mahesh said, “When we received information about the Maths paper leak, we sent a team of officials to Chintamani. These government college lecturers were teaching in private colleges and also taking tuitions. We have got to know that these lecturers were selling the papers due to the stiff competition among these tuitions and students were congregated in particular colleges the day the papers were leaked.”

She also confirmed that the Physics question paper was leaked near Yelahanka here as well, in addition to other districts, including Tumkur.

The Government has also cancelled affiliation of four private colleges — Venkatadri PU College, Royal PU College, Pragati PU College, all in Chintamani and Shantiniketan PU College, Chickaballapur — for their alleged role in the paper leak.

“We are working closely with the police and Revenue Department. The department is following up on information received from students, parents and others. At what stage of the process the leak happened is a matter of investigation,” she said. About the possibility of there being an inside hand in the racket, especially within the department, she said that the CID was investigating the matter, and those found guilty would be brought to book.