CBI team records statements of NEET candidates, school owner in Godhra

The CBI has taken over the investigation of five new cases of alleged malpractices in NEET-UG being probed by police in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bihar.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 14:53 IST

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Godhra (Gujarat): A CBI team investigating the NEET-UG malpractices case on Thursday recorded statements of three candidates who had allegedly paid an accused for helping them clear the medical entrance test held at a private school near Godhra in Gujarat.

Besides the three candidates and their parents, the investigators were also questioning Dixit Patel, owner of the local Jay Jalaram School, at the Godhra circuit house, an official said.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team has been camping in Gujarat for the last four days to probe alleged malpractice during the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test held on May 5.

The school run by Dixit Patel was one of the exam centres.

The team had on Wednesday visited two private schools in Gujarat's Kheda and Panchmahal districts as part of its probe. CBI officials first visited Jay Jalaram International School on Sevaliya-Balasinor highway in Kheda district, and later the Jay Jalaram School at Godhra in Panchmahal district.

Both the schools, located 100 km apart, are owned by Patel.

A case was registered by Godhra Police on May 8 against three persons under various Indian Penal Code provisions including criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal breach of trust for allegedly trying to help 27 candidates clear the NEET-UG by charging Rs 10 lakh each.

On June 23, the CBI filed a fresh FIR (first information report) against unidentified persons under IPC sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating), among others, amid countrywide protests and litigation by students for a probe into paper leak claims.

The CBI has taken over the investigation of five new cases of alleged malpractices in NEET-UG being probed by police in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bihar.

The Gujarat police had arrested five persons, including the principal and a teacher of a school in Godhra, in these cases.

The racket was unearthed after the Panchmahal district collector received a tip-off that some persons were involved in malpractices linked to the exam, as per the FIR registered on May 8 by the Godhra police.

Since the tip-off was received in advance, authorities prevented malpractices at the centre (Jay Jalaram School in Godhra) and the exam was conducted without a hitch, the FIR said.

Physics teacher Tushar Bhatt, school principal Parshottam Sharma, Vadodara-based education consultant Parsuram Roy, his aide Vibhor Anand and alleged middleman Arif Vohra were arrested by police.

As per the FIR registered at the Godhra taluka police station on a complaint of the district education officer, Rs 7 lakh in cash were recovered from Bhatt who taught at Jay Jalaram School and was appointed the deputy centre superintendent for NEET in the city.

Out of 27 students who had either paid in advance or agreed to pay money to Roy and others, only three were able to clear the exam, according to sources.

The accused had asked the candidates to solve a question if they knew the answer, and leave the remaining paper blank. The answers of remaining questions were be filled in by Bhatt when the papers were collected after the exam, as per the FIR.

More than 24 lakh students appeared for the NEET UG 2024 across centres in 571 cities. Results were released on June 4.

Published 27 June 2024, 14:53 IST

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