A week on, police have recorded the statements of the centre superintendent and all the examiners of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, from where 33 answer sheets of CBSE Class X mathematics paper went missing.
A three-member committee of the education department has started its probe into the matter. It will try and ascertain whether there were any lapses on part of the school and will also be interrogating those who had the custody of the answer sheets and were assigned to examine them.
The school authorities and the Panchkula regional office of the CBSE have maintained their silence over the matter, but police said the complaint had not been converted into an FIR yet.
The education department said the CBSE appointed the superintendent and examiners on their own and while they were not supposed to be involved, they were helping the CBSE as a “goodwill gesture”.
“It’s not our job, but the CBSE has sought our help. We’re trying to ascertain the cause and pinpoint responsibility as to why this has happened. In such situations, the CBSE has its own procedure,” said BL Sharma, Education Secretary.
Sharma added that the department had agreed to aid the CBSE inquiry as the teachers happened to be employees of the UT education department.
“In case, there’s a lapse on part of the school, the CBSE will write to us and we will have to take action against those involved. Even though we don’t have a part to play in the appointment of examiners, the answer sheets have gone missing in an official capacity,” he further added.
The department officials have stressed that it was a challenging task to maintain secrecy during examinations as “unruly elements” were working to disrupt the system all the time and it was important to safeguard against such sabotage.
Sharma suggested that now that such an incident has surfaced, it was important for the CBSE to assess the situation and also involve higher bureaucracy from the education department so that the command and control system was strengthened prior to the start of the examination.
While the answer sheets are still missing, a delay in the Class X results of Panchkula region is a high possibility. The results are generally declared towards the end of May or the first week of June. Last year, Class X results were declared on June 3.
Dated January 16, the CBSE, in an advisory, mentions that careful marking of scripts and timely declaration of results is the “paramount concern” and chief nodal supervisers (school principal), head examiner/additional head examiner and examiners should maintain sanctity of the system and works towards the same.
The 33 answer sheets went missing under mysterious circumstances from GMSSS-19 on May 10. An examiner from the school has recorded a statement on the matter and admitted that she was given two bundles, one of which went missing.