Mumbai: Police complaint filed over HSC paper 'leak'

Mumbai Divisional Board officials filed a complaint with the Vashi police station which transferred it to the cyber crime cell

A day after a few pages of the HSC Book Keeping and Accountancy question paper were circulated via snapshots on WhatsApp, just when students across the state started appearing for the same, the Mumbai Divisional Board registered an official complaint with the police about this.

File picture for representation
File picture for representation

On Tuesday evening, after a word with the state education board officials in Pune, officials from the Mumbai division registered a complaint with the Vashi police station which transferred it to the cyber crime cell in Belapur.

“Based on the information we got, the message was circulated after 10:50 am on Monday, by which time students were inside their examination centres and handed over the question paper. We don’t consider this a paper leak.

Therefore we needed to involve the police to find the source of this problem,” said S Chandekar, Mumbai Divisional Board secretary. He had said that the incident looked like the act of a student who might have managed to sneak his/her mobile phone inside the examination centre, but they couldn’t be sure.

“Since students get their question papers at 10:50 am, 10 minutes before they start answering their question papers, we believe some student must have clicked a picture of the question paper and circulated the same seeking answers to the questions, which ended up getting circulated everywhere.

But we have to get this confirmed by the cyber crime cell of the police” added Chandekar. “Though we know that this is not a paper leak and is a case of malpractice instead, we still need to find the source of this problem because it looks like some student entered the examination centre with his/her mobile phone, which is not allowed,” said G K Mamane, state board chairman.

Committee to probe
A report on the matter was submitted to the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) in Pune, where an inquiry committee has been set up to look into this incident. Officials from the Pune head office asked the Mumbai Divisional Board to file a complaint with the police on the incident.

“The incident has taken place only in the Mumbai division and no such complaint has come from any other part of the state. This looks more like a prank to spread panic amidst students than an attempt to copy. Such behaviour will not be tolerated,” added Mamane.

While the board has made its stand very clear that the incident is not a paper leak, anxious students made numerous calls to the Mumbai Divisional Board helpline numbers on Tuesday. “We received hundreds of
calls from HSC students inquiring about a possibility of re-examination for the same subject.

We have assured each and every student that there are no such plans by the Board as of now and they can prepare for their other papers without worry,” said one of the counsellors manning the divisional board helpline numbers.

The incident
>> On Monday at around 10.50 am, a snapshot of the Book Keeping and Accounts paper began to be circulated on WhatsApp

>> Around 11.30 am, the matter came to light when a senior board member got hold of the message

>> The matter was immediately directed to the Mumbai Divisional Board, to check whether the message matched the question paper distributed at exam centres 

>> After confirming that the papers were the same, a complaint was made to the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education in Pune

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