Three months after Staff Selection Commission aspirants protested in Delhi and across the country over the alleged leakage of question papers of Combined Graduate Level Tier-II examinations held between 17-22 February 2018, the Central Bureau of Investigation on May 23 registered an FIR against 18 people. While the CBI conceded that the question papers were indeed leaked, it named seven students, an official Sant Prasad Gupta from Sify Technologies (the vendor responsible for conducting SSC exams), unnamed SSC officials and some invigilators at the exam centres, among other unknown people.
“It’s nothing but a sham and a diversion to quash the protests,” alleged Anupam of Swaraj India, who has been at the forefront of the protests in the national capital, reacting to news of the CBI FIR.
First of all, said Anupam, the demand of the protestors was for an in-depth investigation of all the examinations conducted by SSC. But, he added, the SSC decided to order a CBI inquiry of only the leaks during CGL Tier-II examinations, “proof for which was already available everywhere”.
“Jo chori unki pakdi ja chuki thhi, unhone kaha ki hum bas usi chori ki jaanch karenge. The irregularities that were already highlighted and could not be contested, the SSC decided to get that investigated and submerse other irregularities in all other examinations they conducted,” said Anupam.
The take-away from the FIR, he continued, is “some students who used unfair means, the invigilators of the centre where these students gave their examinations and a SIFY official responsible for handling question papers are the culprits.” “It means that there was no scam, only in certain centres, certain students were cheating. This is what this FIR has reduced the whole scam to,” alleged Anupam, adding, “the objective of an investigation is to expose the root cause, the main culprits. But this FIR seems like a cover-up instead.”
“It seems that this FIR is trying to save the real culprits. Some students are being made into scape-goats while the ring leader is being saved. The students don’t even know who the ring leader is. They just had an opportunity to pass the examination by paying some money. They should obviously be held, but in their name, the ring leader should not be excused,” Anupam added
An SSC aspirant who was also a part of the protests in New Delhi told NH on condition of anonymity, “our demands were of a thorough, time-bound, court-monitored inquiry into all the examinations conducted by SSC. Instead, they conducted an enquiry into just the CGL tier-II exams. Still, after more than two months, the FIR is against “unknown” SSC officials.” “Why could the CBI not find the SSC official when it could easily name the students and the invigilators,” he asked.
Earlier on May 23, apart from filing the FIR, the CBI raided 12 locations, including offices of Sify Technologies Ltd, which was entrusted with holding the CGL (Tier II) exam, in Noida. Raids were also conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Shimla, Jaipur and Patna.
A CBI official said that "the decision was taken after investigators found enough material".
The agency registered a preliminary inquiry in March to probe the paper leak, based on references from the Central government.