PSC exam malpractice: Police decide against expanding probe

PSC exam malpractice: Police decide against expanding probe
Naseem and Shivaranjith

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala police investigating large-scale cheating in the recruitment of police officers have decided not to carry on with a plan to check the call details of each of the 100 toppers in the seven exams. Though the Kerala Public Service Commission had handed over phone numbers of 700 candidates to bring to light anymore possible cheats in the exam, the hi-tech cell of the police claims that it was difficult to track call records made more than a year ago.

The exam malpractices snowballed into a political scandal after the candidates who secured the first, second and 28th ranks in the exam for the Kerala Armed Police 4th battalion (Kasaragod) were found to have received answers as text messages on their phone. The three men were already in the news after they were accused of stabbing a student in the University College, Thiruvananthapuram.

Sivaranjith, who topped the exam, is the first accused in the stabbing case. Naseem, the 28th rank holder, is the second accused while Pranav, the second rank holder, is the 17th accused.

They were helped by their friends who sent them a series of texts containing answers to the leaked question paper. The police have yet to trace the source of the leak.

The Kerala Public Service Commission authorities told Onmanorama that they had handed over the phone numbers of 700 candidates to check if more of them had cheated at the exam. They are carrying out their own checks about the academic track records of the candidates in the seven rank lists.

The hi-tech wing's claim that the number trail have become cold is rebuked by experts, who said that the telecommunication companies store data up to seven years even though only the past year's records are kept online. The police, in this case, seem to have bought the standard response from the service providers without piling pressure. The cyber wing said that the course of the investigation would depend on further directions from the office of the police chief.