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'Possibility of connection with accused in other states': Godhra court grants CBI four-day custody of four accused

CBI said that the accused, including principal of the school Purshottam Sharma and physics teachers Tushar Bhatt, were manipulating OMR sheets.
Last Updated : 29 June 2024, 16:57 IST

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Ahmedabad: Saying that there is a "reasonable possibility" of connection of Gujarat NEET-UG scam with accused in other states, a court in Godhra on Saturday granted four days custody of four accused to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning.

Bhupendra Patel-led BJP government handed over the investigation from Godhra police to CBI, which is investigating four similar cases registered in the country. The accused are charged with facilitating at least 30 NEET students by solving answers in lieu of Rs 10 lakh each at two centres of Jay Jalaram School in Godhra in Panchmahal district. As part of the alleged conspiracy, many students from far off states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan chose these two obscure centres.

During the remand argument, CBI said that the accused, including principal of the school Purshottam Sharma and physics teachers Tushar Bhatt, were manipulating OMR sheets as they allegedly knew these answer sheets were kept at the centre overnight. Since the school was the exam centre in previous year as well, they were aware of the system. Sharma was also appointed as city coordinator by National Testing Agency, while Bhatt was deputy superintendent of the exam.

"It (the case) requires deep, fair, impartial and transparent investigation. It is quite an exceptional case which had prima facie deep rooted conspiracy as this fact also comes on record that these two centers were involved in committing such type of malpractice in previous years also," sessions judge Chandrapal Singh Chauhan wrote in his remand order while granting remand of accused Aarif Noor Mohammed Vohra, Purshottam Sharma, Vibhor Anand and Tushar Bhatt till July 2.

CBI had approached the Godhra court seeking custody of the accused for "exposing the broader conspiracy of orchestrating the manipulation of the examination". In its remand application, CBI stated that the accused made the students, hailing from Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Odisha, show their present or permanent addresses as Panchmahal and Vadodara districts.

"These candidates were arranged through various means by the accused persons and their links in other states," CBI said.

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Published 29 June 2024, 16:57 IST

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