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8 held, FIR against 11 as Gujarat govt admits to GSSSB paper leak

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An FIR was filed against 11 people at the Prantij police station in Sabarkantha and eight of the defendants were arrested in the latest case of leakage of inquiry documents from the Gujarat Subordinate Service Selection Board (GSSSB). The case has been brought for “illegally acquiring the main secretary exam questionnaire prior to the exam, either with the help of a government official or some other source and selling it for Rs 10-15 lakh.”

This is the fourth government proficiency test to be leaked since 2018.

Among the defendants is a candidate who participated in Sunday’s elections for Sarpanch’s post in the village of Sabarkantha in Poglu. Three of the defendants also include those who appeared for the examination last Sunday.

The defendants named in the FIR include Jayesh Patel, Jashvant Patel, Deval Patel, Dhruv Barot, Mahesh Patel, Chintan Patel, Kuldip Patel, Darshan Vyas, Satish Patel aka Happy, Suresh Patel and Mahendra Patel. All the defendants are from Sabarkantha.

Mahendra Patel, a resident of the village of Poglu in Prantij, is contesting the election for the post of Sarpanch in his village. Dhruv Barot, Chintan Patel and Suresh Patel are among the candidates who appeared in the exam.

The FIR was registered at the Prantij police station with the inspector of the Sabarkantha Local Crime Section MD Champavat as the complainant. Police Superintendent Neeraj Badgujar confirmed the arrests.

According to the FIR, Jayesh Patel had acquired the recruitment examination questionnaire, although no details were available on how he did it. Jayesh conspired with others to sell the question paper to candidates in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for illegal financial gain. The FIR added that the defendants not only provided the questionnaire to around 16 candidates, but also provided the resources to learn the answers and then arrive at their respective examination centers the following day.

The arrests and FIRs came on a day when the state government admitted that the questionnaire for the chief secretary’s hiring exam was leaked. Addressing the media on Friday, state Interior Minister Harsh Sanghavi said authorities would make the decision to cancel the exam after extensive discussions.

He said the Department of the Interior was exploring possibilities to impose stricter penal provisions against defendants to set an example as a deterrent against such crimes. So far, no GSSSB official has been found to be involved in the crime, he said, before adding that a “360-degree investigation” was underway and that no one is beyond suspicion.

“As soon as we learned of the paper leak, 24 police teams were formed to detect the crime and ensure that the perpetrators did not have a chance to escape. The Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar district police are involved in the investigation, ”said Sanghavi.

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The defendants have been registered in sections of cheating and conspiracy. The FIR claims that it conspired and assisted in the sale of the questionnaire and answer key, and ensured that it reached candidates in at least four centers. The FIR was registered under the provisions of IPC 406 (criminal abuse of trust), 409 (criminal abuse of trust by a public servant), 420 (cheating) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy).

On December 12, GSSSB conducted the recruitment review for 186 chief secretary vacancies. The written exam was taken by more than 88,000 candidates.

The incident came to light when Yuvrajsinh Jadeja, vice chairman of the youth wing of the Gujarat Aam Aadmi Party, on December 13, alleged that he had evidence that the questionnaire was leaked one night before the exam and was sold at the rate of 6 rupees. at Rs 12 lakh in various parts of the state. Jadeja, on Thursday, delivered the evidence of the leak of the paper to the president of GSSSB, Asit Vora.

In response to the government’s admission of the paper leak and the FIR registration, Jadeja demanded that the GSSSB president stay away from the details of the investigation. “As president of the board, he (Vora) was the authority of the strong rooms where the question papers were kept. He (Vora), among others, should also be questioned by the police. The police have yet to get to the boss (of the scandal), ”said Jadeja.

He also questioned the research carried out to date. “So far, there is no investigation on the document that was circulated on social media. Research in that aspect is very important (since it broadened the scope of the leaked paper), ”he said.

This is not the first time in recent times that a state recruiting test has been embroiled in controversy due to paper leaks. Jadeja said that the modus-operandi adopted by the defendants resembles previous cases of paper leaks in the state. He said the defendants should be booked on charges of sedition so that the threat of paper leakage can be reviewed forever.

The main legislator of Congress and leader of the opposition in the Gujarat Assembly, Sukhram Rathva, questioned the intention of the state government to carry out fair and fair recruitment through competitions. He claimed that the repeated leaks of documents have left little that young people seeking government jobs can expect from the current state government.

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