CBI sends teams to Patna and Godhra for NEET case probe

First information report says there were ‘certain isolated incidents’ in a few States during the May 5 test; Education Ministry has asked agency to conduct a comprehensive investigation and probe the role of public servants, if any, in the controversy

Updated - June 24, 2024 12:31 am IST

Published - June 23, 2024 03:56 pm IST

Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit personnel escort the NEET-UG exams 2024 case accused out of LNJP hospital in Patna on June 23, 2024 after their medical examination.

Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit personnel escort the NEET-UG exams 2024 case accused out of LNJP hospital in Patna on June 23, 2024 after their medical examination. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case to probe the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the recent National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to undergraduate medical programmes, known as NEET-UG.

“The process to take over the other cases related to the examination has also been initiated by the CBI for a comprehensive investigation,” an agency official said.

The CBI’s first information report (FIR) says that there were “certain isolated incidents” in a few States during the the NEET-UG examination, which was conducted on May 5 by the National Testing Agency in 4,750 centres for over 23 lakh candidates.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Education has requested the CBI to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the entire gamut of alleged irregularities, including conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, breach of trust, and destruction of evidence by candidates, institutes, and middlemen, including attempted irregularities,” the agency said.

Probing public servants’ role

The Ministry has also requested the CBI to investigate the role of public servants, if any, connected to the conduct of the examination or the larger conspiracy. “Special teams have been formed by the CBI to investigate the matter on top priority. The special teams are being sent to Patna and Godhra where local police cases have been registered,” it said.

Also read | Maharashtra ATS detains two teachers from Latur

The Education Ministry recommended the CBI probe after examining the findings of the Bihar police’s Economic Offences Unit, which has now picked up six more people from Deoghar in Jharkhand for their involvement in the alleged NEET-UG paper leak. The State police had earlier arrested 13 accused people, including four examinees. They suspect that Sanjeev Mukhiya, a resident of Nalanda in Bihar, is the kingpin of the paper leak racket. He had earlier been arrested on the charge of leaking the paper for the constable recruitment exam conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission in 2016.

Another case of alleged cheating at a Godhra NEET examination centre, in which six people have been arrested, is currently being investigated by the Gujarat police, but is likely to be taken over by the CBI as well.

‘Institutional failure’

This year’s NEET-UG exam, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on May 5 for more than 23 lakh students, has been embroiled in several controversies. After students alleged irregularities in the rankings, the matter went to the Supreme Court which approved a re-test for over 1,500 students who had preciously been given “grace marks” to compensate for the time they lost while taking the test.

Opposition parties have targeted the Union government for its failure to conduct the entrance examinations properly, affecting lakhs of students.

Citing concerns about the integrity of competitive examinations, the Union government took a last minute decision to postponed the NEET-PG examination scheduled to be held on Sunday. Last week, the CBI registered a case against unknown persons following an Education Ministry complaint alleging that the integrity of the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) examination, also conducted by the NTA, may have also been compromised, based on inputs from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The UGC-NET, meant for Ph.D admissions and assistant professor eligibility, was also cancelled.

On Wednesday, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had acknowledged that the back-to-back paper leaks, affecting the lives of at least 35 lakh students, were an institutional failure of the NTA, whose chief has now been removed.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.