Nagpur: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named a man from Nagpur, Parimal Kotpalliwar, as the main accused in the case of proxy candidates for the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) held on September 12.
Kotpalliwar, director of a career counseling center in Nandanvan, is not new to the exam rigging controversies, as he was also arrested in 2015 for his alleged involvement in the late All India Pre-Medical Test ( AIPMT).
CBI’s FIR, registered in New Delhi shortly after the exam ended, says Kotpalliwar promised students admission to top government colleges by adopting “fraudulent means and unfair practices.” The First Investigation Agency alleges that Kotpalliwar would take post-dated checks (PDCs) from parents and also keep some original academic documents as a deposit, until payments are made. The amount mentioned in the FIR can go up to Rs50 lakh, although it is not clear whether this is the amount per applicant or the total amount for which CBI obtained information.
Once the PDCs were in hand, Kotpalliwar collected the user IDs and passwords of the NEET candidates, the CBI said, adding that the necessary changes had been made to get the desired exam centers as planned.
The crooks also transformed photographs to facilitate the use of proxy candidates to appear for the exam, the agency alleged.
The candidates’ e-Aadhaar was collected to fabricate false identity cards, says the FIR. He further adds that Kotpalliwar also “assured the candidates to provide answer keys and handle OMR sheets”.
The FIR mentions the names of five candidates who “used the services of candidate representatives provided by Kotpalliwar”. These five candidates had been assigned examination centers in Delhi and Jharkhand. The proxy candidates for these five were arranged by Kotpalliwar through the other defendants Diwakar Singh and Munna, says the FIR.
Unconfirmed reports mention that proxy candidates for the above five individuals did not show up on exam day and were marked as absent. However, this could not be established independently or by the contents of the FIR.
The CBI has registered a case under various sections of the IPC and Computer Law involving criminal association, identity theft fraud, fraud, counterfeiting of valuables, forgery for the purpose of cheating, the use of false documents as genuine, the forgery of computer source documents, identity theft and cheating by impersonation using computer resources.
Kotpalliwar’s run-in with the law regarding the rigging of medical examinations is not new. On June 10, 2015, TOI reported the arrest of Kotpalliwar by Rohtak police in Haryana after his name surfaced in the AIPMT cheating case in which high-tech gadgets were used, followed by ‘another report on August 1.
Kotpalliwar is said to be a close relative of a former Nagpur District MP, with other extended family members active in politics.