Allahabad High Court summons Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Exam Controller in mass cheating case in admission test for LLB
The Allahabad High Court has directed the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Controller of Examinations to the personally present in the Court in connection with mass cheating in the examination conducted for admission to LL.B three years course of Mahatama Gandhi Kashi Vidhyapeeth, Varanasi.
A Single Bench of Justice Salil Kumar Rai passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Akash Rai and 17 Others.
The petition has been filed with a prayer to quash the entrance examination held by Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi for admission to LL.B three years course with the allegation that there was mass copying at the examination centre which was situated in the premises of the University.
The Court observed that,
It appears that on some complaint by certain examinees / candidates that there was mass copying at the examination centre and unfair means were adopted by some examinees, therefore, the results would not reflect the correct merit of the examinees inter-se, an inquiry committee consisting of the Head of the Department of Psychology, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences and two Research Scholars from the Departments of Commerce and Psychology which submitted a report denying that unfair means were adopted by the examinee at the examination centre.
The report was submitted by the counsel for the University on the previous date in pursuance to the different orders passed by the Court.
A perusal of the report also indicates that the Heads of the Departments and the Dean of different Faculties namely, Social Work, Commerce and Management as well as Social Sciences had informed the inquiry committee that unfair means were not used by the examinees and the Centre Superintendent at the Department of Humanities had stated that certain candidates were found to be consulting each other but denied that unfair means were used in the examination and only one student was found with a mobile phone and, therefore, his examination was cancelled.
The Court noted that, on December 08, the Court in the presence of the counsel for the University, the counsel for the petitioners and the officiating Registrar of the University as well as Technical Assistant and two other employees of the University has perused the video footage. The video footage was seen from the CCTV storage device produced by the University. The total time of the video footage was 30 hours, and therefore, video footage were randomly perused by the Court in light of the fact that the petitioner had previously viewed the video footage which were given to him in pursuance to the order dated 30.11.2022 passed by the Court.
The Court further observed that,
The video footage shows the pitiable state of affairs in the University and the manner in which examinations were held. The video footage shows that a candidate was using his mobile phone in the examination hall and in certain rooms, the candidates were not only consulting each other but were also exchanging the answer sheets in the presence of the invigilator. No sanctity can be attached to such an examination. The entrance examination, as evident from the video footage, was a farce. It is apparent that the invigilators and the Centre Superintendents were negligent of their duties. The conduct of the invigilator and Centre Superintendent is described as ‘Negligence’ due to lack of any evidence at this stage otherwise the manner in which the examination has been conducted by the University could also indicate collusion of the Officers of the University with examinees who could be influential persons.
It is also noted that the video also reveals that the entrance examination in the Commerce Department was held at 3:43 p.m. even though the time of examination was 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The instructions handed over by the counsel for the University and the inquiry report have been prepared without holding any inquiry in the matter. An inquiry is an inquiry which is supposed to be an investigation into facts by officers of the University, who are serious about their duties and the academic standards of the University. It is incomprehensible as to under what circumstances, Research Scholars of the University were given the responsibility to hold an inquiry on the complaint of the examinees. In any case, two teachers of the University who have submitted their inquiry report are also guilty of submitting a false inquiry report in the Court. Similarly, the facts recorded in the instructions sent to this Court by the officers of the University is contradicted by the video footage.
The Court said that the matter is serious as the fate of examinees aspiring for admission in the University is at stake. The Controller of Examination had the responsibility to maintain the sanctity of the entrance examination. The Registrar of the University and the Vice-Chancellor as the administrative head of the University were supposed to ensure that the examinations are held as examinations are supposed to be held.
‘Put up this matter again as fresh on 15.12.2022 at 2:00 p.m on which date the Vice-Chancellor of the University as well as the Registrar and the Controller of the Examination shall be personally present in the Court.
The storage device produced by the officiating Registrar of the University has been returned to the officiating Registrar. On the next date fixed in the case, storage devices shall also be made available to the Court to enable the Court for pursuing the same, if so required’, the order reads.