Bare body test for Army aspirants, Govt seeks report, HC wants reply

Bare body test for Army aspirants, Govt seeks report, HC wants reply

Bare body test for Army aspirants, Govt seeks report, HC wants reply

As a controversy erupted over candidates being asked to strip down to their underwear for an Army exam in Bihar, the Union Government today sought a report from the Army Chief while the Patna High Court directed the Ministry of Defence to give a reply by April 5.

Defending the bare body recruitment test, Director, (Recruitment) at the Army Regional Office(ARO) in Muzaffarpur Col V S Godra told reporters that it was a preventive measure against cheating.

Pictures showed candidates, dressed only in their underwear, cross-legged at Chakkar Maidan, an open ground in Muzaffarpur, about 100 km from Patna, putting pen to paper in the hope of making it to the Army. The test, which was taken by 1,159 candidates, was conducted by the ARO Army Recruitment for various posts at different levels.

On the basis of photographs appearing in some newspapers, lawyer Deenu Kumar had filed a PIL yesterday which a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmad Ansari and Justice Chakradhari Saran Singh had converted into a writ and gave the order today to the Ministry of Defence to reply by April 5.

Col Godra claimed that because of the measures taken by the Army no complaint of smuggling of mobile phones and chits inside the examination venue were reported. "We did not insult anybody or subject anyone to examinee complained, so why outsiders are making a hue and cry over the matter?" Godra wondered.

The pictures of the Army aspirants were in contrast to that defining freezeframe from Vaishali last year of people perched on the window shades of a multi-storey building, passing on answer chits to Class Ten students appearing for Bihar state board exams inside.

While Army officials in Delhi denied that they have received any order from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, top sources confirmed that a file has been prepared and sent to Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag.

"A report has been sought on the incident as the matter has come to light through media reports," sources said in Delhi. Army sources said the move to strip the candidates down to their underwear was a suggestion made by previous job seekers who had cleared the examination. Pictures, apparently taken by officials themselves, leaked and made its way to the social media as well as mainstream media. The written test was for candidates who had successfully completed their physical tests.

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