Almost seven months after the paper leak pertaining to constable recruitment exam in Himachal Pradesh came to light, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the probe from the state police's Special Investigation Team.
The CBI has registered two FIRs on November 30 and has asked the Himachal Pradesh Police for the documents, which are likely to be handed over to the probe agency within a day or two, sources in the state police said. The leak came to light on May 5 and the examination was cancelled the next day. The SIT was constituted on May 7.
Buckling under the pressure from opposition parties, the state government gave its consent for the CBI inquiry on May 18. Three cases were registered by the state police in connection with the leak at Gaggal (Kangra), Arki (Solan) and CID police station in Bharari (Shimla).
As many as 1,87,476 applications were received for 1,334 constable posts and 75,803 candidates qualified the physical efficiency and physical standard tests. Of these, 26,346 candidates cleared the written examination held at 81 centres across 11 districts on March 27. So far, 253 people, including owner of a printing press, a paper cutter who leaked the question papers, owners of coaching centres, kingpins, agents, candidates and their family members have been arrested by the SIT.
It has filed chargesheet against over 150 accused in court. Police claimed that multiple gangs were involved in the scam and habitual offenders, engineers and people working in the railway and income tax departments were involved. The kingpins planted their people in printing presses across the country and leaked several papers in the past, the police claimed. The investigations had revealed that the final print of 80 questions was allegedly leaked from the printing press, and a member of the printing committee entrusted with the task to supervise printing of papers was under scanner.
The state police had also constituted a Board of Officers comprising the inspector general of police, deputy inspector general and deputy controller of finance to look into the acts of omission by police officers involved in the recruitment exam, while the SIT was probing the acts of commission.The case was one of the major issues in the assembly elections held on November 12.
(With PTI inputs)