Published: 19th September 2019
PSC exam fraud: Allegations against SFI activists are grave, observes Kerala High Court
Two main accused in the PSC exam fraud case, whose custody was secured by the Crime Branch, have admitted to their involvement in the crime
The High Court on Wednesday observed that the allegations relating to PSC exam fraud, involving SFI leaders of Thiruvananthapuram University College, were grave.
When the petition seeking CBI probe into the case came up for hearing, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan directed the Crime Branch to file a report on the progress of the scam’s investigation. The petition seeking CBI probe was filed by E P Subin, of Malappuram, and K Sreekumar, of Kollam, who also gave the exam.
Opposing the plea for CBI probe, senior Government Pleader Suman Chakravarthy submitted that the petitioners, being failed candidates, has no locus standi and added there wasn’t sufficient material in the petition to order for a CBI inquiry. The observation by another bench, directing wider investigation into the recent appointment, was only for deciding the bail application.
Advocate P C Sasidharan, standing counsel for PSC, submitted that the petition was filed for publicity and there was no need for a CBI probe.
The petitioners said they were declared failed in the physical efficiency test conducted by PSC, to the posts of civil police officers, in July 2018. “Some of the candidates who performed poorly passed the test. Bias and favouritism were shown by PSC officials during the physical efficiency test,” stated the petitioners. Later, they came to know that there were irregularities in the exam, when former SFI leaders Sivaranjith, Pranav and Nazeem were arrested.
“However, the Crime Branch was never curious to arrest all the accused in the case or to investigate the conspiracy behind the selection. The ruling party intervened to derail the probe,” apprehended the petitioners. They believe the question papers must have been leaked prior to the written examination as this could not have been done without the aid of PSC officers.
They apprehended that the present probe would be limited to those arrested and might conclude as a mere exam fraud case. The larger conspiracy behind the entire PSC scam will not be revealed due to political patronage enjoyed by the accused, stated the petition.
Two key accused admit to role; more suspects likely
Two main accused in the PSC exam fraud case, whose custody was secured by the Crime Branch, have admitted to their involvement in the crime. The investigators also revealed that the number of accused involved in the crime is likely to increase. “We suspect more people are involved in the case. Based on the details we get from the accused and the data we retrieve, they will be arraigned in the case,” said an officer. Crime Branch sources said University College SFI leader P P Pranav and his friend Safir, who is a PSC aspirant, revealed their roles in the PSC exam fraud. DySP Harikrishnan said the efforts are on to retrieve the mobile phones of Pranav and Safir. “Even if they have destroyed the phones, the data can be retrieved,” he said.