After 12 were held in Jharkhand for allegedly leaking the Class X mathematics question paper, Delhi police Sunday arrested three men, including two private school teachers, for allegedly leaking the Class XII CBSE Economics question paper. Police believe the three men were part of a separate “module”, which leaked the paper 45 minutes before the examination.
Following Sunday’s arrests, the CBSE suspended one of its officers, K S Rana, for lax supervision of an examination centre in Delhi, from where the Class XII Economics paper was allegedly leaked.
The Delhi police Crime Branch, probing the leak of both question papers, also said the arrests were part of just one “module” which leaked question papers for money.
While two cases with the Delhi Police are connected to the alleged leak of the Mathematics and Economics papers a day before they were scheduled on March 28 and March 26, the three men held on Sunday distributed the paper 45 minutes before the examination, sources said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar said Tauqeer (26), a private tuition teacher and Rishab Singh (29) and Rohit (26) — who teach Physics and Chemistry at Mother Khazani Convent school in Bawana — were arrested on Sunday. Sources said teachers at more private schools in Delhi and Gurgaon were also being questioned.
“As per rules, the seal of the question paper is opened in examination centres 15 minutes before the examination starts. But Rishab and Rohit had opened the Class XII Economics paper at 9 am and sent photographs of the papers on WhatsApp to Tauqeer, who spread it to students for money,” he said Kumar. Kumar leads the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the alleged leaks.
Police sources said they now suspected that the two teachers may have even leaked the Physics and Chemistry question papers. Both examinations were held before Class XII Economics. “We have seized the mobile phones of all the three accused and sent them to the forensic lab to ascertain if they leaked the Physics and Chemistry question papers and later deleted the chats,” said a senior police officer.
Asked if the arrests were connected to the alleged leaking of question papers a day before the examinations, Kumar said: “This is one of the modules. We are working on various aspects. CBSE is cooperating with us and there may be more arrests soon.”
CBSE sources Sunday said Board officer K S Rana was appointed by the regional director of Delhi as the key person in charge of delivering the question papers to Mother Khazani Convent School, Mungeshpur, on March 26, the day of the Class 12 Economics paper. He was also appointed the custodian for two more schools nearby.
Rana’s duties included picking up the question paper parcel and delivering it to Mother Khazani Convent School before 9.15 am. As per Board norms, if delivery is made early, the key person is expected to stay back for a reasonable time, before moving on to the next examination centre. Before leaving, the key person has to ensure that only the centre superintendent or his authorised representative has access to the sealed packets.
“He (Rana) should have ensured strict access before leaving the school. Two other teachers (Rishab and Rohit) would not have had access, had he been vigilant,” said a source.
According to CBSE sources, Rana’s laxity gave the accused teachers the opportunity to photograph the question paper and share it with Tauqeer, the owner of a coaching centre in Bawana.
“On the direction of the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to take swift action against culprits, the Board has suspended KS Rana, the official found lax in supervising examination centre (0859) with immediate effect. A formal inquiry has been instituted,” school education secretary Anil Swarup tweeted on Sunday night.
Swarup also said Rana was suspended after a probe following the arrests of the two teachers of Mother Khazani Convent School and Tauqeer, an employee of a coaching centre.
According to police, Tauqeer, a Mathematics teacher in a coaching centre in Bawana’s Asthal Colony had circulated leaked question papers on the day of the examination and would get between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 from the students. “During investigations, we questioned a Class XII student from Bawana, who said he got the question paper from Tauqeer. We picked up Tauqeer on Friday night who revealed the names of both the teachers during questioning,” said Kumar.
Rishab and Rohit are both teachers at a private school in Mungeshpur village near Auchandi on the Delhi-Haryana border, police said.
Police have also questioned the principal and other staff of the school where the duo was employed used to teach. “Both were employed at the school for more than one year. The school principal was called for questioning on Saturday and Sunday. He may also be booked soon,” said police sources.
“Just to build a good reputation of their school, they broke the seal of the paper almost 45 minutes before the exams and give it to students of the school,” said sources in crime branch. School authorities could not be reached for comment.
Sources said the SIT has questioned least 80 people so far. For the alleged leak of the Class XII Economic Paper, the CBSE had sent two complaints to the Delhi police in which one tutor from Rajinder Nagar was named in the FIR. The crime branch said they had not given anyone a clean chit and that the tutor was still detained for questioning.