The Dhule police in Maharashtra registered a defamation case against Surat City Shiv Sena president Vilas Patil on Saturday, after receiving a complaint from BJP MLA of Limbayat in Surat, Sangita Patil. Vilas had allegedly accused Sangita of using a “dummy candidate” to write her final year BA exams in a college in Songir town in Dhule on May 31. Vilas was booked after a probe revealed that the BJP MLA had used no dummy candidate but appeared herself for the exams.
Sangita, who hails from Shirpur taluka in Dhule district in Maharashtra, was appearing for her TYBA exams at the Yashwantrao Chauhan Maharashtra Open University, headquartered in Nashik in Maharashtra, and had selected her examination centre at Bahujan Samaj Shikshan Prasarak Mandal’s Arts Commerce and Science College Songir in Dhule district. The acrimony between Vilas and Sangita emerged when Vilas accused Sangita of having sent a dummy candidate to appear for the exam.
Vilas claimed that when he reached the exam centre with a few others and tried to enter into the college premises to check if Sangita was appearing for the exam, he was prohibited by the college authorities from entering the centre. Vilas then approached the Songir police station and handed application to the police inspector to accompany him to check whether dummy students are appearing on behalf of the candidates for the exam.
Along with police inspector of Songir police station, Vilas Patil and local Shiv Sena leaders went to the college and went inside the classroom on the third floor of the college building where the supervisor, professors and others were also present. Police checked the identity card of Sangita Patil, who had covered a scarf to hide her identity while appearing for the examination.
Vilas, however, says he is not convinced that Sangita wrote the exam herself. Vilas told The Sunday Express, “We are sure that a dummy student was writing the exam on behalf of Sangita Patil. She has her close relative teaching in the college and through him, she had managed to get a dummy student. The college authorities prevented us from entering the college first; it took almost two hours for the police to reach for the formal checking. In the meantime, they had called her and allowed the dummy student to escape. To prove me wrong, Sangita should answer all the questions orally just as she claims to have written them in the exam.” Vilas says he will write to the Open university headquarters to seek a handwriting verification to “clear the picture”.
Talking to The Sunday Express, Sangita Patil said, “This is political vendetta. Vilas entered the examination hall with police to check on me and disturbed all other students. I was appearing for the exam as a student and not as an MLA. Nobody knew that I am an MLA. I have already appeared for three of the six papers for this exam. I have registered a complaint against Vilas Patil with Songir police station.”
The exam controller of Yashwantrao Chauhan Maharashtra Open University, Nasik, Jaywant Khadtal said, “We have learnt about the incident and the allegation made by a person regarding the presence of a dummy student at Songir College. We have intimated our teams to probe it and get back to us. Anyone who suspects dummy student appearing for exams should contact flying squad of the university or the college principal. We have sought report from the college too.”
The Songir police, however, have given a clean chit to Sangita. Police Inspector Dyaneshwar Vare said, “Based on the application made by the Shiv Sena leader Vilas Patil, we checked the college and found BJP MLA Sangita Patil in the examination hall appearing for her exams. There was no dummy student present there. The MLA has filed a complaint of defamation under Section 499 of IPC against Vilas Patil. We have registered the offence and started probe.”