Human Rights Commission takes Bihar govt to task over mass copying

Patna: Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) today termed as 'tragic and unfortunate' the reports of mass copying in the ongoing Class 10 board exam and the statement by Education Minister P K Shahi that the government cannot check it.

The full bench of Commission also directed the police and district officials to ensure zero tolerance towards copying terming as it was a 'serious matter' and involved the future of the state, and sought a report within 10 days.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the issue on the basis of media reports and photographs, full bench of BHRC consisting of Chairperson Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki, Justice (retd) Mandhata Singh, and former Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Neelmani, called the impact of such photographs "tragic and unfortunate".

Chiding the government over the issue, the BHRC members said, "it has been attributed to the minister that 40 to 50 lakh people were assisting 14 lakh students in copying and as such the government cannot control this menace. If crime increases, would the State say it cannot be controlled?"

"The Commission cannot imagine that all the 14 lakh students appearing in the matriculation examination are dishonest. The Commission would like to believe that a vast majority of students and their parents are honest and only a minuscule of students is dishonest," the bench added.

It has directed all Divisional Commissioners, Inspector Generals of Police, Education Department officials at district level to ensure zero tolerance towards copying, and also sought reports from all Divisional Commissioners and Range Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) within 10 days as it was a serious matter and involved future of the state.

The BHRC also sent copies of its order to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Shahi's office. BHRC member Neelmani said, the Commission has directed the state government officials to take all measures which are necessary within the framework of law, and to ensure that unauthorised persons do not enter the areas where the examination is held.

"We cannot allow the pious system of examinations to rot," Neelmani added. Earlier in the day, the Patna High Court division bench of Chief Justice L Narasimha Reddy and Justice Vikash Jain had admonished the state government over mass copying in the
matriculation exams after converting a newspaper report into PIL.

The Nitish Kumar government swung into action later on, convening a high-level meeting with Shahi, DGP P K Thakur, Principal Secretary (Home Department) Amir Subhani and Education Secretary R K Mahajan. He instructed them to ensure that examinations were held without any cheating.

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