Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, May 22:
Directing the law enforcing agencies of various states, including Odisha, to cooperate with Haryana police in its investigations, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked Haryana Police to quickly complete the probe into the leakage of question papers of the All India Pre-medical Entrance Test (AIPMT), indicating that it would cancel the exam, if necessary.
A vacation bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice UU Lalit directed the law enforcing agencies of Maharashtra, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states, where the answers keys of the question paper were transmitted, to cooperate with Haryana Police in the investigations. Besides, it asked the Haryana police to file progress report on the investigations.
The court also asked the telecom service providers to extend cooperation to the police and provide details of the calls made to and from the 70 mobile phones used in the entire operation.
Notably, more than 6 lakh students appeared in the exam for 2,500 medical seats across the country held on May 3.
As some of the petitioners, including parents and a doctor, urged the court to order re-conduct the AIPMT, the court said that tracing the candidates who benefited from the leak was not difficult and if they are identified, the result would be declared after excluding them.
However, the court made it clear that it was hearing the matter with an open mind and would wait for the outcome of the investigation.
The SC said the need to cancel the exam may not arise if the special investigation team (SIT), set up by the Haryana government, was able trace the alleged cheats.
“All of you want holding of fresh exams. We are sitting with an open mind. We will hear it and decide,” the court said.
Haryana Police, in its status report on Thursday, told the court that the kingpin of the AIPMT question paper leak case, Roop Singh Dangi, was yet to be arrested but one of his accomplices, S. Srivastava, has been arrested.
Srivastava hails from Patel Nagar area of Delhi and was instrumental in arranging 700 vests fitted with electronic devices that were used by the candidates to receive the answer keys.
The bench has fixed May 26 to hear a batch of petitions filed by some of the candidates urging the court to direct the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to hold the exam again as it was marred by the paper leak.