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Vyapam scam: CBI has secured 94 convictions in four years

A file picture of the CBI office complex in New Delhi.

A file picture of the CBI office complex in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

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The investigation agency is pursuing 154 cases in the exam scandal

Pursuing as many as 154 cases on the Vyapam scam for four years, the Central Bureau of Investigation has so far secured 94 convictions against those who subverted the entrance tests for admission in educational institutions and government jobs in Madhya Pradesh. More than 3,100 accused persons have been chargesheeted.

The convicts have been awarded three to 10 years of imprisonment, based on the severity of proven charges.

The agency has filed about 145 charge sheets against the accused persons. They include the masterminds, middlemen, a large number of candidates, impersonators and former Vyapam officials. Over 130 of them have been arrested. Complaints against suspects who were minors have been filed in juvenile justice courts.

During the course of investigation, the agency used an advanced software for the identification of those who impersonated candidates, based on the facial features lifted from examination hall admit cards and other records.

The CBI took over the investigation with the registration of the first set of cases on July 15, 2015, following a direction from the Supreme Court. Subsequently, 154 cases were instituted over a period of time. The cases pertained to multiple instances of rigging of tests for admission in medical colleges, besides the recruitment for posts such as police constables and forest guards.

The amount of effort that has gone into probing the cases was reflected in a key charge sheet filed against 592 accused persons in November 2017. Among those arraigned were 334 paper solvers and beneficiary candidates, 155 guardians of the candidates, 22 middlemen and 46 invigilators.

Chairmen of four private medical colleges, who allowed the admission of unqualified candidates, were also arraigned.

In order to trace 145 unidentified accused persons, most of whom were paper solvers hired to help the candidates clear the 2012 pre-medical test, the CBI collated details of more than 10 lakh students from Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

The effort — based on evidence that the ‘paper solvers’ were either those who were already enrolled in medical colleges or students who were attending coaching classes in these States — led to the identification of 42 persons in that case.

In multiple cases, the CBI found that the accused Vyapam officials tampered with digital records to increase the marks of a large number of candidates. The pairing of respective solvers-beneficiary candidates was done by getting their roll numbers manipulated through the officials in such a way that the candidate would sit right behind the solver.

Another important charge sheet was filed by the agency in October 2017 against 490 accused persons, related to a pre-medical test. Three Vyapam officials, three masterminds, 17 middlemen, 297 paper solvers and beneficiary candidates, and 170 guardians of the candidates were named in that case.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:56:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vyapam-scam-cbi-has-secured-94-convictions-in-four-years/article30480652.ece

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