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Gujarat: Five teachers, student booked for ‘cheating’ in class 10 Board exam

The CID (Crime) lodged an FIR against the six accused on Wednesday after concluding an enquiry which was initiated in January this year.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
August 20, 2021 11:52:51 pm
The FIR also lists as accused the unidentified persons who wrote answer-sheets on behalf of the student.

FIVE TEACHERS and a student were booked by the Crime Investigation Department (Crime) of the state for allegedly getting the juvenile’s answer-sheets for Class 10 board examination written by someone else outside his examination centre in Porbandar in March last year and then submitting them as genuine. The CID (Crime) lodged an FIR against the six accused on Wednesday after concluding an enquiry which was initiated in January this year.

Those booked include a 17-year-old boy who had appeared in Class 10 examination for English subject at Advana Primary Kishor Shala in Advana village of Porbandar district and his father who is a teacher at secondary school. Other accused include SN Patel, a teacher of Gramya Bharati School in Bagvadar village of Porbandar and who had served as invigilator when the student had taken his examination for English subject. Manju Odedra, a teacher at Advana Ucchatar Madhyamik Shala, UR Gohil, a teacher at UN Fatana High School in Porbandar and RK Odedra, a teacher at Sharda Vidyamandir in Simar village of Porbandar have also been named as accused in the FIR as they had served as invigilator in the examination taken by the minor student for other subjects. The FIR also lists as accused the unidentified persons who wrote answer-sheets on behalf of the student.

According to the FIR, the accused got or facilitated sending question papers of board examination outside examination hall, got or facilitated someone to write answer-sheets outside the examination hall on behalf of the student and then send such answer-sheets inside the block where the students were taking the exam. The accused also then collected the answer-sheets actually written by the student from the examination centre’s block and destroyed at least six of them while submitting those written outside the examination hall as genuine for evaluation, the FIR states.

The accused have been booked under various IPC sections including 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonesty) 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 447 (criminal trespass), 379 (theft) and 465 (forgery).

According to the FIR registered at the Rajkot division office of CID (Crime), the matter came to light when the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Board (GSHSEB) was compiling marks of the students who had appeared in the Class 10 examination conducted by the GSHSEB in March, 2020 at Advana centre. During the data entry process, officers found an answer-sheet of English subject which did not have the mandatory barcode sticker but the evaluator had awarded him 34 marks.

While checking the tables of marks of students in the board’s database, the electronic database showed an entry of the student with the same seat number having secured 72 marks in English subject.

“This made the officer suspect that there were two answer-sheets bearing the same seat number and therefore, he treated the matter as a case of unfair practices and withheld the student’s result for English subject,” an office of the GSHSEB told The Indian Express on Friday.

According to the FIR, the student was given a hearing by the district level examination committee of Porbandar, headed by district education officer (DEO) of Porbandar in June. However, the student, in the presence of his father, denied any wrongdoing. Therefore, the committee cancelled the result of his English subject but allowed him to appear in the supplementary examination of Class 10 in August 2020. The student secured 30 marks in the supplementary examination but the GSHSEB reserved his result and did not accept the decision of the Porbandar committee even as GSHSEB officers reported the matter to the general board of the GSHSEB.

Bhikhabhai Chaudhary, in-charge examination secretary of GSHSEB for Class 10, also seized the student’s original answer-sheets for Examination-II conducted locally by his school in January, 2020.

After the Forensic Science Laboratory analysed the handwriting, it stated in its report that the person who wrote the March answer-sheet without a barcode sticker also wrote the August answer-sheet and the January answer-sheet but not the the March answer-sheet which had a barcode sticker and which was assessed to have scored 72 marks.

“The GSHSEB… resolved that from 2021, the Advana centre in Porbandar district be shut and the matter be investigated by the home department,” the FIR notes Chaudhary as having stated in his complaint to the CID (crime).

Raghavji Patel, deputy superintendent of police of CID (crime) in Rajkot said that they have questioned all accused. “Prima facie, all answer-sheets on the basis of which the student was evaluated in the board examination were written by someone else. We are collecting further evidence in the case,” said Patel.

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