Delhi HC seeks government, police reply on probe plea in NEET illegalities

The plea sought transfer of investigation from the crime branch to Special Investigative Team comprising members having expertise in Computer Science and/or an investigation by any central agency.

Published: 21st August 2017 04:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2017 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi High Court (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today sought the response of the Centre and the police on a plea seeking a court-monitored CBI/SIT probe into the alleged illegalities in the National Eligibility Entrance Test held in 2016 for admitting students in post-graduate medical courses.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the National Board of Examination (NBE), the Medical Council of India, M/s Prometrics Private Ltd and the CBI on a plea which sought to hand over the case to the probe agency.

M/s Prometrics Private Ltd had sub-contracted with CMS IT Services Private Ltd to hire engineers, site supervisors and other staff to prepare exam labs for conducting NEET PG examination at 43 centres across the country.

The bench also expressed concern over the delay in concluding the investigation and said "this is a very serious matter. Therefore, the authorities need to file their status report/response in one week."

The court, which listed the matter for further hearing on September 10, was hearing a petition filed by Dr Anand Rai, who claims to be the whistleblower in Vyapam scam.

Rai, through his counsel Vaibhav Srivastava, submitted that the crime branch of Delhi Police was not competent to handle the investigation of this nature which required technical expertise.

The petitioner said that at this point of time, Delhi Police was acting like a "post office, still awaiting technical data from NBE and M/s Prometrics Ltd and asking Delhi Lt Governor to provide a technical team for analysis of the technical data."

The CBI's special standing counsel Rajdeepa Behura said the police's crime branch was already investigating the matter in which an FIR has been lodged and charge sheet filed.

An FIR was lodged on February 1 against 11 persons and charge sheet was filed on July 9 this year under various sections of the IPC including 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) and under the Information and Technology Act.

The plea sought transfer of investigation from the crime branch to Special Investigative Team (SIT) comprising members having expertise in Computer Science and/or an investigation by the CBI or any other competent central agency.

It alleged that till date, NBE and Prometrics have not cooperated with the investigation and no information with respect to technical derails as sought by the police has been furnished, thus delaying the matter and providing time to the culprits to erase the evidence.

"Further, it appears that the officials of the NBE and Prometrics may be involved in the scam, thus making the present issue as sensitive and to ensure the cooperation of the NBE and Prometrics, a court-monitored investigation is warranted," it claimed.

It has also sought direction to the NBE to initiate appropriate proceedings against the candidates whose names have been disclosed in the charge sheet for allegedly securing admissions in NEET-PG, 2017 using unfair or fraudulent means.

It also sought directions to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that NEET examination be conducted by a public authority with proper oversight and involvement of government officials.

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