Five days after a racket was busted at MS University in which the exam answer sheets of students had been replaced with freshly-filled ones, an FIR is yet to be filed in the case. The delay raises suspicion that some influential person or a senior staff member of the university might be involved in the scam.
On May 9, two peons of the university were detained for their alleged involvement in replacing answer sheets at the central assessment cell (CAC) of the faculty of arts at the university. A preliminary investigation by the university identified 21 students that were involved. That number has risen to 36.
The university claims it has furnished all evidence to the police, whereas the inspector-in-charge of the case said that the management of the varsity is yet to initiate the process of filing a formal complaint.
In a statement released by the university, the management said, “The university has nothing to hide and nobody to protect. The university approached police within hours after knowing (about) this irregularity.” The management has requested time to meet the commissioner of police on Wednesday and would “extend full support and cooperation to the police in this case”.
The statement said that Professor Pratapchandran had caught the peons on May 9 and filed a police complaint the same day. On May 10, the vice chancellor called a meeting and directed that all temporary staff who had been working with the CAC for more than two years be removed. On the same day, the management furnished details requested by the police, such as names of students whose supplementary papers had been replaced (by the peons), names of CAC members of the faculty of arts, and a copy of the exam time table. It would share details regarding the standard operating procedure followed on paper assessment “today without fail”. It had also collected the mobile phones of those involved and would them handover along with all 30 supplementary papers to the police.
However, the police said that the university had asked for two more days to file a formal complaint. “We can file an FIR only when the University initiates it,” SG Solanki, police inspector-in-charge, Sayajigunj police station, said. “The University had submitted a written application and has now furnished documents as asked but is yet to file an FIR. We had been informed that once the internal committee of the university completes its investigation and submits a report within two days, they (would be able) decide who all to name and book in the FIR and go ahead with the process.”
The exams began on April 1, ended on April 20. As assessments were ongoing, a few staffers noticed a few answer sheets missing, but later found that the final number of sheets tallied with the total number of students who appeared for the examination. This aroused suspicion, Vigilance officials were asked to keep watch, and it eventually led to the peons being caught red-handed.