NEET impersonation case: MBBS students of deemed varsities to come under lens

Court directs CB-CID, forensic officials to obtain their thumb impressions

After ordering cross-verification of fingerprints of 4,250 MBBS students who got admitted in government as well as private medical colleges in the State this year with the fingerprints obtained by National Testing Agency (NTA) at the time of conducting National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), the Madras High Court on Thursday ordered a similar exercise to be carried out for those who had been admitted in deemed universities to rule out impersonation.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and P. Velmurugan recorded the submission of Abdul Saleem, standing counsel for the Selection Committee in Directorate of Medical Education (DME), that it received fingerprints of all 4,250 candidates from NTA and subsequently issued instructions to deans of government as well as private medical colleges in the State to obtain thumb impressions of 4,250 students and forward them to the selection committee at the earliest.

The court was told that after the receipt of the details, information would be shared with the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department, which found six students in the State having indulged in impersonation to clear NEET, for verification. Since sufficient number of fingerprint experts would be needed to carry out the exercise, the judges suo motu included the Director of Finger Print Bureau as a respondent to a case pending before them.

Special Government Pleader J. Pothiraj was directed to take notice on behalf of the Director, who was ordered to depute the required number of experts for comparison of thumbprints. When it was brought to the notice of the judges that the 4,250 students do not include those who had been admitted to deemed to be universities in the State, they did not want to spare them.

The Division Bench directed the CB-CID and the forensic officials to visit every deemed university and obtain the thumb impression of MBBS students who got admitted there this year. The exercise has to be carried in the presence of the dean or principal of the institution concerned and the entire process should be recorded on video. “All the medical college deans and vice-chancellors of deemed universities are directed to cooperate with the authorities,” it ordered.

On October 4, the court suspected that impersonation in NEET might not be confined to Tamil Nadu, where as many as six students reportedly obtained medical seats this year through impersonation at examination centres located in other States such as Maharashtra. The judges feared that the illegality might have occurred across the country and wanted the Union Health Ministry to find out if such instances had been reported.

On October 16, the judges ordered cross-checking of fingerprints of all 4,250 students who got admission in government and private medical colleges in the State. All these interim orders were passed while hearing a writ appeal related to alleged sale of MBBS seats, earmarked under non- resident Indians (NRI) quota, for huge sums of money by many private colleges.

After hearing the appellant’s counsel M. Velmurugan on Thursday, the judges adjourned the case to Friday to hear the counsel representing various private medical colleges who also had been impleaded suo motu to make their submissions on the allegations levelled against them.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 1:55:48 AM |

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