July 5, 2014 4:11:46 am
Twenty-six years after the CBI arrested a former PU Controller of Examination (CoE), Dr Sodhi Ram, in an alleged paper leak case, the court of Vimal Kumar Friday acquitted the retired CoE from charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy on ‘benefit of doubt’. A detailed judgment in the case is awaited.
The case dates back to May 26, 1988 when the then PU vice-chancellor, M M Puri, initiated an inquiry after taking note of a Newsline report that a maths theory paper had been leaked. After the inquiry ended on June 6, 1988, Puri asked the CBI to probe the matter to ‘restore the honour of the university’. On July 21, 1998, a FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act was lodged against Dr Ram and some others. Dr Ram heaved a sigh of relief after the judge concluded that the CBI failed to prove charges levelled against him in the FIR.
After the statements of Dhan Singh, an accused in the case, were recorded by the CBI, Dr Ram was arrested and sent to judicial custody for seven months before he was released on January 17, 2001. Dhan Singh was a clerk at PU and had alleged that Dr Ram asked him to leak two papers.
The CBI submitted a chargesheet on August 4, 2000. The court had then dropped charges of corruption and framed Dr Ram and the others for cheating and criminal conspiracy instead.
Dr Ram had then moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where the CBI failed to file a response against his petition.
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