ANDHRA PRADESH

CMC joins issue with Minister

HYDERABAD NOV. 6. The controversy over involvement of CMC employees in the recent Intermediate marks memos case continues. Even as the Begumbazar police have given a clean chit to the CMC staff in the scam, the Higher Education Minister, Mohd. Farooq, has strongly believes that the bungling would not have taken place unless the CMC employees were involved.

"There is every possibility of CMC employees acting hand in glove with the accused. Otherwise, how would it happen when the entire data entry and processing was done by them," Mr. Farooq said while speaking to The Hindu here on Thursday. However, the Minister was at a loss to cite any specific evidence against the CMC staffers.

According to him, only the CMC workers are familiar with the software relating to data entry, processing and preparation of checklist. "There is no question of an outsider directly tampering with the data without the knowledge of CMC staffers," Mr. Farooq observed. He, however, said that the probe is still on.

The CMC management had an altogether different version to say. "In preparation of memos, our role is confined to entry, compilation and processing of data. Every other thing like the infrastructure, access to computers and printing of memos is in the hands of Intermediate Board officials," the CMC vice-president (corporate business development), G.S.N. Prabhu, said. He stated that none of their employees had any malafide intention and the Board officials were monitoring their work in every aspect.

Asked about progress of investigation into the case, the Abids ACP, Mohd. Tajuddin, maintained that no clinching evidence was found against any of the CMC workers during the investigation. Statements of the seven persons arrested so far in connection with the case had not provided any clue over the involvement of CMC staff, he remarked. With the Minister making statements quite contradictory to the findings of the investigating authorities, the role of CMC in the marks memos case continues to be a mystery.

Probe panel set up

The Higher Education Minister had constituted a five-member committee to inquire into the alleged malpractices in the revaluation of Intermediate students answer sheets. Among others, the Vice-Chancellors of Osmania, Kakatiya and Sri Krishna Devaraya universities, J. Ananta Swamy, Chandrakant Kokate and Mohd. Iqbal Ahmed, will be the committee members.

Meanwhile, the prime accused in the Inter marks memos scam, Venkat Rao, Personal Assistant to Intermediate Board Secretary, Enoch Dayanand, former president of Junior Lecturers' Association and B. Nandanna, a Senior Assistant of Intermediate Board, continue to evade the police. A serious hunt is on to nab them, according to the police higher-ups.