Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) on Friday widened its probe into the case of impersonation in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) after the special police unit detained a student and his father in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, for giving money to an agent in this regard.
According to sources privy to developments in the case, the CB-CID has summoned three suspects for interrogation. The suspects have been asked to appear before the investigation officer at Theni in Madurai district.
The NEET controversy broke out after the Dean of Government Medical College in Theni received two emails stating that one Udit Surya, who was in his first year of the course, had failed to clear NEET twice before succeeding in the third attempt when he appeared for it in Mumbai. Another mail was sent two days later claiming the student pursuing the course was not the same person who had appeared for the test.
An internal inquiry conducted by the college authorities found a mismatch in the photographs of the NEET identity card and the student’s general identity card. A case was registered by Theni police.
Soon after, Udit discontinued his course citing depression and was absconding. Police set up a special team to trace Udit and his family and the case was transferred to the CB-CID.
Udit and his father were arrested on Wednesday and were remanded in judicial custody a day later. Sources said they had paid over Rs 20 lakh to an agent to make another person appear in place of Udit for entrance test.
The Madras High Court, taking suo motu notice of the case, sought details from the state government on whether this was a one-off instance or if there were more such cases.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Medical Education has cleared two medicos from Coimbatore over a case of suspected 'mismatch' in their photographs affixed in the entrance test mark sheets and admission applications.
Biometric system will be introduced in the near future to prevent any such fraud, Director of Medical Education (in-charge), Dr A Narayanababu said.
Regarding the Coimbatore incident, while there was "only a slight variation" in the photos, the students' documents and certificates have been found to be "genuine" following scrutiny, he said.
An inquiry committee probed the matter by scrutinising mark certificates, the medicos' hall tickets, identity cards, allotment order and joining order, "with our documents including (those regarding) NEET," he told reporters here. They also made enquiries with students concerned and their parents, he added.
"According to the preliminary inquiry, all documents have been found to be genuine upon scrutiny… the inquiry committee has said the certificates and the students inquired are genuine," he said.
Earlier, Coimbatore-based private institution PSG Medical College had found the mismatch in the photographs of a male and a female first year MBBS student during verification of documents taken up following a directive by the DME to all institutions and reported the matter to the directorate.
The college had made it clear on Thursday that it was "only a suspicion." Such variations come up if different photos were used in different documents, officials here said.
The DME had earlier directed all medical colleges to verify the records in the wake of suspected impersonation by the first-year MBBS student of Theni Government Medical College in the NEET.
Narayanababu said biometric system, fingerprints to be more precise, was proposed to be introduced in all admission-related processes in the near future, to prevent any kind of fraud.(With inputs from PTI)