Chargesheet soon in re-evaluation scam

A five-month-long probe by the police into the alleged re-evaluation malpractices in the University of Pune has concluded recently and a chargesheet is to be filed shortly. Police are, however, saying the scope of their investigation never went beyond the list of 21 students that they had received, as the university administration, on its own, never launched a probe into the 60,000-odd answersheets that had undergone re-evaluation per semester.

The 21 students included 18 foreigners and three Indians.

In October 2012, investigation by the Cantonment police into a racket of dummy candidates at some private colleges had revealed that the suspects arrested were also involved in another racket of fraudulently passing students who failed in exams, by facilitating an increase in their marks during re-evaluation of answersheets of the previous semester.

After the case was handed over to the Chatushrungi police, 10 persons, including seven university staffers and the three Indian students, were arrested. The arrested staffers included a member of the fact-finding committee appointed by the university to inquire into the allegations, the head and another employee of the revaluation section and a senior clerk. Police have till now not been able to trace the 18 foreign students. A complaint in this regard was registered after a fact-finding committee headed by retired ACP Sharad Awasthi submitted its report.

Assistant police inspector Mahesh Bolkotgi, who is investigating the case, said, "Our probe was limited to the 21 students, as the university authorities had approached us only with those exam seat numbers. We have finished gathering evidence and recording statements in connection with the case. We will soon file the chargesheet in the case."

A senior police officer said: "It is now clear that the marks were fraudulently increased at the data entry level. That means there is a difference in the marks given by the re-evaluator and those updated in the university records. For each semester, about 60,000 students apply for re-evaluation. There is enough scope to doubt that malpractices have taken place in case of others too. It is really difficult to understand why the university has never looked into the other applications that had come for re-evaluation. The university can, on its own, initiate a probe. We cannot do this because all the answersheets are in possession of the university."

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