Plea before SC for CBI probe into ‘corruption’ in Karnataka Board exam

The petitioner, CN Deepak, has requested the court to appoint a retired judge to supervise the matter.
Image of SC used for representational purposes.
Image of SC used for representational purposes.

BENGALURU: A CBI investigation into the “illegality and corruption’’ in the Karnataka Board Examination matter for Classes 5, 8, 9 and 11, has been sought in the Supreme Court, with the matter expected to come up in one or two days.

The petitioner, CN Deepak, has requested the court to appoint a retired judge to supervise the matter. He pointed out that CBI investigated a similar matter in Kerala, and found many guilty and had them convicted. He said he was approached by whistleblowers within the Department of Education, who confided in him about a conspiracy, and collusion between several high-ranking public servants within the department and printing groups.

“It has come to light that highly lucrative contracts for printing question papers and answer sheets for the Board examination this year for Standards 5, 8, 9 and 11 were awarded to such printing groups for inflated sums, with public servants set to receive substantial kickbacks upon expediting the payments.

The attention and disapproval that this Board examination fiasco received from this court led the department to rush the examination in an attempt to prevent scrutiny. This information, provided by insiders, further strengthens the applicant’s concerns about the presence of widespread corruption in the conduct of these Board examinations,” explained his legal counsel KV Dhananjay, in the Supreme Court.

He said the present case bears striking similarities to a corruption scandal that unfolded in the state of Kerala, where the CBI investigated large-scale corruption in the printing of Class 10 Board examination question papers. In CC No. 5/2011 (RC No. 27(A)-2005-KER) before the Special Judge (SPE/CBI) in Thiruvananthapuram, a group of public servants and private individuals who used the pretext of a printing contract for the Kerala SSLC Board exam to engage in extensive corruption and plunder of public funds, were tried and convicted in August 2022.

The modus operandi involved securing the lucrative contract for a benami entity, submitting hugely inflated bills, suppressing government orders on printing rates, and public servants abusing their positions to facilitate the fraud in exchange for illegal gratification. The CBI’s investigation and subsequent conviction exposed how corruption had infiltrated the sacred domain of school education, Dhananjay explained.

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