The police suspect the involvement of several university staff in the cash for marks scam in the examination department of the University of Pune (UoP), and have begun interrogating the arrested accused after the court remanded them to police custody.
The suspects Ramesh Kisan Shelar (43), Ashok Shankarrao Ranwade (44), both reside at the staff quarters on the University campus, while Chetan Gajanan Parbhane (38) is a resident of Ravet. The accused had absconded after the fact-finding committee of UoP pointed out their involvement in the scam and had subsequently suspended them last month. Acase was also registered with the Chatushringi police station.
The three were attached to the UoP’s examination department and were charged for allegedly increasing marks of 21 students, who had failed during the revaluation process.
Assistant Police Inspector Mahesh Bolkotgi, who is investigating the case, produced the trio before the court of judicial magistrate (first class) A G Sanatani seeking seven days police custody. “The accused’s custodial interrogation is required to ascertain the modus operandi, as well as to nab their accomplices,” said Bolkotgi.
While addressing the court, Bolkotgi said, “The interrogation of the suspects could lead us to higher officials of the university as we suspect that there is big nexus in this scam.”
“Investigations have revealed that the accused made changes to the received marks of students that were saved in computers of the revaluation department.
Police need to investigate the nexus between the students, accused and the teachers who checked the papers, ” said Assistant Public Prosecutor Anil Kumbhar while seeking police custody of the accused from the court. The court, however, remanded the three suspects to police custody till January 10.
The revaluation scam surfaced after the arrest of Gaus Shaikh and Salim Majid Shaikh who were earlier nabbed by the Cantonment police for their role in an examination racket at Poona College of Arts, Commerce and Science. Students from the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) streams had failed in their subjects and later applied for revaluation of the papers.
Bolkotgi said that during the interrogation of Gaus and Shaikh, the role of the three clerks came under the scanner, and that prompted the UoP to set up a fact-finding committee. “The fact finding committee submitted its report on December 13, and named the three junior clerks as suspects. After they were suspended and an FIR was registered against them, they absconded. However, they surrendered before cops yesterday,” said Bolkotgi.
He also said that they would also investigate the link between Gaus, Shaikh and these three suspects. When contacted the UoP Vice Chancellor, Vasudeo Gade said that the law would take its own course.
Police Inspector Ajay Kadam of Chatuhshrungi police station said that the three suspects have been arrested under Section 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using a forged document as genuine), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Dr Sampada Joshi, Controller of Examination (UoP), had registered the complaint at the police station.