Patna police on Wednesday submitted a charge sheet against eight accused persons, including suspended IAS officer Sudhir Kumar, on the leak of question papers of a Bihar staff selection commission clerical grade examination.
Sudhir, a 1982-batch Bihar cadre officer, was posted as chairman of the Bihar staff selection commission (BSSC) when the question papers were leaked on February 29 this year, ahead of the second phase of the examination that was scheduled to be held on February 5.
Sudhir and the commission’s then secretary Parmeshwar Ram are among the 35 persons who have been arrested in the case so far.
Inspector-general of police (IG), Patna zone, Nayyar Hasnain Khan, who was monitoring the special investigation team (SIT) probe, pointed out the charge sheet had been filed within the stipulated 90 days. “The charge sheet is based on technical as well as documentary evidences, which hinted at a well-oiled nexus between the BSSC officials and the racketeers,” IG Khan told The Telegraph on Wednesday. “Certain statements of the arrested persons have also been taken into account to corroborate the charges against the accused. Every minute detail of the evidences were analysed by the members of the SIT before submission of the charge sheet in the court.”
The accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code, the IG said. The investigating officer, Rajesh Kumar, has also been directed to obtain prosecution sanction from the state government to initiate further legal action against Sudhir, Khan added.
Sudhir’s brother Awadhesh Kumar, Awadhesh’s wife Manju Kumari, Sudhir’s nephews Arun and Ashish, Delhi-based businessman Anant Preet Singh Brar alias Anand Brar, Sajjad (accused of luring candidates) and Niti Ranjan Pratap Singh, information-technology manager with the BSSC, have also been named in Wednesday’s charge sheet.
The SIT had on Monday filed another charge sheet against two more accused persons, Vineet Agrawal and his manager Ajay Kumar.
According to Wednesday’s charge sheet, Sudhir told Awadhesh, who is a geography teacher at Patna Women’s College, to send Arun and Ashish to Sudhir’s residence in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh to collect question papers of the four-phase examination.
A police officer associated with the investigation said Ashish and Arun had revealed to the SIT that they had collected the question papers and answer sheets from Sudhir’s Hazaribagh home.
Ashish, Arun and Manju were taking the examination, which the state government had to cancel after the leak became public.
Sudhir was arrested from Hazaribagh on February 24 this year and produced in the special vigilance court in Patna. He has been charged with indulging in corrupt practices and misusing his official position to benefit his relatives and others.
Ashish, according to the charge sheet, later provided the question papers and answer sheets to Rameshwar Kumar, the proprietor of a private coaching institute who was associated with Ramashish Singh alias Ramashish Rai, proprietor of AVN School at Rajeev Nagar in the state capital.
Rameshwar, Ramashish and Niti Ranjan provided the question papers to the select group of candidates on WhatsApp, the police claim.
Niti Ranjan was in constant touch with Brar in Delhi, said the police officer associated with the investigation. “It was Niti who had introduced Brar to Sudhir, who subsequently provided names of the setters of the question papers and printers of the OMR (optical mark recognition, or bar-coded) sheets,” the police officer said under cover of anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Vineet was assigned the job of printing the question papers as well as OMR sheets of the examination. Vineet, who was arrested by the SIT from Delhi, is learnt to have told his interrogators that he provided the question papers to Brar on Sudhir’s directive.
“The investigation was aimed at collecting much more evidences and pointing out the specific lapses on the part of the BSSC officials, which led to the leakage of the question papers and subsequent cancellation of the examination,” a senior IPS officer told The Telegraph. “The SIT has described the chain of events in a professional manner in the charge sheet.”
The IPS officer said more charge sheets will be filed on Thursday.
The leak racket came to the fore after the arrest of five persons from an area under the jurisdiction of Agamkuan police station in February this year.
The then BSSC secretary Parmeshwar was arrested after his interrogation on February 8. The cops searched Parmeshwar’s Bhagwat Nagar residence the same day and seized admit cards, identity cards of some candidates and other “incriminating” documents. Sudhir was on Wednesday produced in the special vigilance court, which remanded him in judicial custody till June 6.
Courtesy: The Telegraph