NEW DELHI: Over 6.3 lakh candidates who took the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) on May 3 may have to appear again as the Supreme Court on Friday hinted at cancelling the examination in view of leak of answer keys across many centres and failure of police to identify all the culprits.
A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Amitava Roy slammed the CBSE for not taking precautionary measures to prevent some candidates at several centres from getting answer keys through blue tooth devices.
The court said re-examination would be required as it was not known how many students benefitted and police had so far not been able to track all those examinees who resorted to illegal practices.
“What about the students who burnt the midnight oil … Their dreams should be not be shattered because of selfish and mindless acts of some people,” the bench said.
“Your system has failed. CBSE is ought to be more careful. You have been outwitted and outmanoeuvred by technology-savvy students,” the bench said while reserving its order on a plea of a group of candidates and and guardians seeking re-examination.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for CBSE, opposed re-examination saying that six lakh candidates should not be punished for the wrongful acts of a few. He said so far only 44 erring students had been identified. He said the CBSE should be allowed to declare the results and students who were found to be involved in cheating would be debarred.
The court, however, said the probe is still on and many more students might be involved in the scam as 350 mobile phones were used to transmit answers to candidates across the country. “The entire exam stands vitiated if even one erring student is not identified,” it said.
The advocate appearing for the petitioner told the bench that on an earlier occasion as well, the test was reconducted by CBSE and it was done within a month.
The Haryana police, which is conducting the probe, submitted that the gang involved in scam had its network spread across the country and the figure of 44 students identified as beneficiaries is not final. It had earlier said at least 700 students were supplied the answer keys through electronic devices which they managed to take inside the examination hall by hiding it in specially designed undergarments.
It said the gang, including doctors and MBBS students, managed to get the question paper and transmitted the answers half an hour before the test was to get over. Police said 102 out of 123 answers transmitted to students in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were correct.
The court said the government and its agencies should keep themselves updated with technology to catch up with tech-savvy criminals. It said in era of changing technology, the government must rise to the occasion to handle such situations.