New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Three months after leak of a paper of recruitment examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the CBI registered an FIR and conducted raids on Wednesday at multiple locations across the country, an official said.
The agency raided 12 locations, including offices of Sify Technologies Ltd, which was entrusted with holding the Combined Graduate Level (Tier II) exam, in Noida. Raids were also conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Shimla, Jaipur and Patna.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official said that “the decision was taken after investigators found enough material”.
The agency registered a preliminary inquiry in March to probe the paper leak, based on references from the Central government.
The SSC, which conducts examinations for subordinate services, had recommended a CBI inquiry into the paper leak in the examination held from February 17 to 22, which triggered widespread protests.
The SSC later decided not to declare the results till the CBI completed its probe.
The CBI FIR named 17 private persons, including head of the content team of Sify Technologies Ltd, as well as some unidentified officials of the SSC for their role in the paper leak.
They were booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The question paper was leaked 20 minutes before the examination.
“It was alleged that computers of some candidates were remotely accessed by unidentified persons with the help of a software which was not supposed to be installed in the PCs. These candidates were helped by these persons in answering the questions. The screenshots of some questions were leaked in the social media and went viral.
“The answer keys of the Quantitative Ability (QA) examination on February 21 were found in the social media at 10.10 a.m, even as the examination was scheduled to be held at 10.30 a.m that day,” the CBI said.
In March, Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force and Delhi Police Crime Branch busted a gang involved in the case and arrested four prsons who helped candidates cheat with the help of online app “Team Viewer”.
A large number of candidates had staged protests outside the SSC office at the CGO Complex here for several days seeking a CBI probe.
Nearly 30.26 lakh candidates had registered for the Combined Graduate Level Examination, conducted to fill about 8,000 vacancies in 35 ministries and departments.
While about 15.43 lakh candidates appeared in the Tier-I exam in August 2017, about 1.89 lakh candidates were shortlisted for the Tier-II exam. Of these, 1.41 lakh candidates appeared in the exam, conducted at 206 venues in 68 cities.