NEET-UG paper leak: CBI arrests private school owner from Godhra

Jay Jalaram School, situated near Godhra in Panchmahal district, was one of the designated centres where the NEET-UG exam was held on May 5

Students in Bhopal protest over alleged irregularities in NEET 2024 results (photo: PTI)
Students in Bhopal protest over alleged irregularities in NEET 2024 results (photo: PTI)


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the alleged malpractices in conducting the NEET-UG exam at a private school in Gujarat's Godhra in May, on Sunday arrested its owner.

With the arrest of Dixit Patel, owner of Jay Jalaram School situated near Godhra in Panchmahal district, the number of persons arrested so far- five of them were held by Gujarat Police- has gone up to six.

Jay Jalaram School was one of the designated centres where the NEET-UG exam was held on May 5.

Patel was arrested in the early hours of Sunday from his residence in Panchmahal district, said public prosecutor Rakesh Thakor.

"As the case has been handed over to the CBI by the Gujarat government, a CBI team will produce him (Dixit Patel) before a designated court in Ahmedabad to acquire his remand," said Thakor.

Patel is the sixth person to be arrested in this case wherein the accused had allegedly demanded Rs 10 lakh each from at least 27 candidates to help them clear the test.

The other five persons, who were arrested earlier by the Panchmahal police, include Vadodara-based education consultant Parshuram Roy, Jay Jalaram School principal Purushottam Sharma, school teacher Tushar Bhatt, and alleged middlemen Vibhor Anand and Arif Vohra.

After taking over the probe a week back, the CBI had sought custody of four accused except Roy. On Saturday, the Godhra district court remanded Sharma, Bhatt, Anand, and Vohra to CBI's custody till July 2.

A preliminary investigation by the CBI has uncovered that the accused persons had asked candidates willing to adopt illegal means to obtain high scores in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-Under Graduate) to opt for Jay Jalaram School as the exam centre.

Notably, last year's NEET exam at the same school had exposed a crucial vulnerability wherein answer sheets were stored overnight, prompting the accused to conceive a plan to tamper with Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets during this period, the CBI had told the court.

As per Gujarat Police, the accused persons allegedly asked the candidates not to attempt a question if they did not know the answer.

Prima facie, Bhatt, a physics teacher, filled the correct answers on the papers while they were still at the school premises post-exam.

The CBI on Saturday raided seven locations in Gujarat, further intensifying their probe into the alleged NEET malpractices. Statements from six candidates who allegedly paid bribes were recorded last week, linking them to the accused.

A case was registered by Godhra Police on May 8 against Bhatt, Roy, and Vohra for attempting to manipulate the NEET-UG process by extorting Rs 10 lakh from 27 candidates each. Authorities, who were tipped off about potential malpractice, preemptively intervened at the school, averting


Bhatt, appointed as the exam's deputy superintendent at the school centre, was apprehended before the test, and Rs 7 lakh in cash was seized from him.

The investigation showed that Roy had allegedly convinced at least 27 of his students that he could help them clear the exam for Rs 10 lakh. In a subsequent raid, cheques amounting to Rs 2.30 crore were discovered in Roy's office.

Roy had allegedly asked his students to opt for the Godhra centre so that Bhatt, Sharma and others could help them.

Of the 27 students who had either paid in advance or agreed to pay money to Roy and others, only three managed to clear the exam with a passing score, while the remaining 23 failed. Investigations continue as the CBI seeks to unravel the full extent of the malpractice network.

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