Four persons, including two students, have been arrested in connection with last week's Bachelor of Commerce final year question paper leak case, police said here today. "Head clerk Rajkumar Mishra, clerk Rajendra Borade, student Vishal More from Agarwal College and Prateek Mehta from Birla College at Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district were arrested in connection with case," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Sadanand Date said.
According to police, complainant Padma Deshmukh, the controller of exams at the Mumbai University, received a phone call at about 10:15 AM on April 4 saying that Marketing and Human Resource Management question paper of Third Year BCom was being circulated on WhatsApp, an instant messaging platform.
After this, the varsity immediately changed the question paper and sent a new paper to all the centres electronically and the examination was conducted at the scheduled time by 11 AM, which was attended by nearly 64,000 students across 223 centres.
Later, Deshmukh brought the matter to the notice of the Mumbai police crime branch which initiated a probe.
During the probe, jointly conducted by Crime branch Unit VIII and the Cyber Cell Wing, investigators reached student Vishal, who claimed to have paid Rs 3,000 to clerk Rajendra Borade for leaking the question paper.
Rajendra told the cops that he paid half of the money to head clerk Rajkumar Mishra, who leaked the paper to him. Only select people in the college, including Rajkumar, were allowed to access the question paper a few hours before the exam. "The college was allowed to see the question paper at about 9.30 AM or so on April 4. After that, the paper got leaked," Date said.
The student Vishal recently met with an accident and he was not able to prepare for the exam.
After the paper was leaked to him, he needed a friend who could find out answers to the questions at the earliest. So, he informed his friend Prateek, who in a bid to help other friends, circulated the set of questionnaire on WhatsApp, for which Prateek gave Rs 2,000 to Vishal. "So far, we have arrested four people in connection with this case. Rajendra, Vishal and Prateek were held yesterday, while Rajkumar was arrested today. We are working with University officials and carry out an in-depth investigation to find out if any other paper has been leaked as well by the clerks," he said.
The accused were arrested under Section 408 (Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant), Section 380 (Theft) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the IT Act as well as the Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices Act. These arrests come days after the crime branch arrested police constable Uday Kadam and Kandivli school principal Mangesh Laad for allegedly leaking the SSC Algebra papers last week.
Kadam's son was caught copying the Algebra paper after which he confessed to the roles of Kadam and Laad.