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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

MHADA recruitment exams postponed, 6 held for ‘bid to leak question papers’

State Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad apologised to the candidates and said their fees would be returned. He said the exam will be held next month and candidates will not have to pay the fees.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai, Pune |
Updated: December 13, 2021 3:39:35 am
Police, meanwhile, arrested three persons from Pune who were allegedly trying to leak questions papers of the exams.

THE STATE government postponed the recruitment exams for Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA), which were scheduled for Sunday.

Police, meanwhile, arrested three persons from Pune who were allegedly trying to leak questions papers of the exams.

State Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad apologised to the candidates and said their fees would be returned. He said the exam will be held next month and candidates will not have to pay the fees.

Six people, including the director of the company that was given the contract to conduct the recruitment examinations for various posts of MHADA, have been arrested for allegedly attempting to leak the question papers of the MHADA exam.

Those arrested include Dr Pritish Diliprao Deshmukh (32), director of G A Software Technologies Private Limited, which was given the contract by the state government to conduct the recruitment examinations for posts in MHADA on December 12, 15, 19, and 20.

A resident of Kharalwadi in Pimpri Chinchwad, Deshmukh was arrested along with Ankush Rambhau Harkal (44) of Buldhana and Santosh Lakshman Harkal (42) of Aurangabad.

MHADA officer Nitin Mane (47) lodged an FIR with the cyber police station of Pune city police on Friday. Police booked the accused under Sections 406, 409, 120 (b) of IPC for criminal breach of trust, cheating, criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices at University, Board and Other Specified Examinations Act, 1982.

BJP leaders including Devendra Fadnavis and the ABVP slammed the MVA government over the failure to conduct the exam, which they said caused unnecessary harassment to several people.

Meanwhile, the police arrested three more accused, identified as Ajay Nandu Chavan, director of Target Career Point, Krushna Jadhav of Saksham Academy and their aide Ankit Chankhore from Aurangabad, in connection with the Maharashtra Public Health Department’s recruitment examination question paper case. All three are also found to be allegedly involved in the bid to leak the MHADA examination question paper.

Pune City Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta, during the ongoing investigation by the cybercrime cell into the health department’s question paper leak, said information was obtained about the suspects planning to leak the MHADA question paper. So police teams went to different locations in Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Pune and Thane districts. Police arrested Ajay Chavan, Krushna Jadhav and Chankhore from Aurangabad.

Police seized entry passes, educational documents and certificates of three candidates appearing for the MHADA examination from Chankhore. Blank cheques and a list of 51 candidates who appeared for the health department examination were also seized from Chankhore.

Police said financial dealings, in this case, are being investigated. Information is being gathered about the candidates seeking MHADA question papers from the accused persons. Attempts are on to know whether more persons are involved in the scam.

Police are investigating how other accused persons came in contact with Deshmukh and conspired to leak question papers of government examinations.

Meanwhile, the number of arrests in the health department’s question paper leak case has now reached 17. Those arrested earlier include Mahesh Satyavan Botle (53), Joint Director, National Health Mission, Mumbai, Prashant Vyankat Badgire (50), posted as Chief Administrative Officer at the Latur-based office of Deputy Director of Public Health and Prakash Digambar Misal (40), a serving Navy sailor from Beed district currently posted in Mumbai.

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