Nagpur based coaching centre offered to secure admissions for ₹50 lakh by arranging proxy candidates.
On specific information that proxy candidates would be appearing for bonafide students in the NEET held at five centres in Ranchi and Delhi on September 12, the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch, Delhi, registered a case against Parimal Kotpalliwar, who runs M/s R.K. Education Career Guidance, an education consultancy firm in Nagpur.
The agency was informed that Mr. Kotpalliwar had contacted parents of candidates and promised admission in reputed colleges for a consideration.
The parents were asked to deposit post-dated cheques and original mark sheets of the candidates for Class-X and Class-XII as security, which would be returned after receiving the agreed amount of ₹50 lakh.
The modus operandi was to use forged documents by morphing photographs in identity cards to facilitate proxy candidates to write the exam, the CBI FIR said.
The username and password of the candidates who applied for NEET was obtained to make necessary modifications to get desired examination centres.
Copies of e-Aadhar of the candidates were taken for morphing photographs.
According to sources, at least five students engaged the services of proxy candidates arranged by Mr. Kotpalliwar, with the help of two persons Diwakar and Munna, at one centre in Ranchi and four centres in Delhi. Mr. Kotpalliwar along with his associates had come to Delhi on September 9, 2021.
The CBI FIR said the actions of the suspects prima facie revealed offences of cheating, forgery and other offences under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The coaching centre and unknown others indulged in fraudulent acts in NEET UG-2021 conducted on September 12, 2021, “thereby cheating the National Testing Agency, genuine meritorious candidates and the general public at large,” the CBI said.
However, sources in the agency said the proxy writers engaged for the candidates did not turn up at the NEET centre and the candidates were marked “absent”.
Five persons who were associated with the coaching centre in Nagpur were taken into custody for acting as middlemen.
“The proxy candidates who were engaged to impersonate the bonafide students did not turn up. Investigators were tracking the case closely and there was evidence to corroborate information received.
As allegation mounted the modus opeardi been prevailed at various occasions CBI put the Probe to check how many candidates engaged proxy writers with the help of the suspects and whether any fraud was actually committed,” a CBI official said.
The revelation comes amid a string of suicides in Tamil Nadu that prompted Chief Minister MK Stalin to make an emotional appeal last week to students stricken by the outcome of the test. Over the past few years, 15 medical aspirants have died by suicide in the state.
A 17-year-old girl died in Tamil Nadu last week allegedly by suicide, the third such death in less than a week. The daily wager’s daughter, who had appeared for NEET 2021, was anxious over clearing it. She had scored 84.9 per cent in Class 12.
“I beg of you, please do not end your lives. Nothing is impossible for you. Study with that confidence. Parents, too, should instil self-confidence in children and not stress them out,” Chief Minister Stalin said in his appeal, advising panicked children to talk to mental health experts by dialling 104.