NEET-UG probe: CBI seeks remand of four Godhra-based accused arrested by Gujarat police

The court has kept further hearing on Saturday when it is expected to pronounce an order about the CBI's remand plea
NEET-UG probe: CBI seeks remand of four Godhra-based accused arrested by Gujarat police
The accused are currently lodged in the Godhra sub-jail. Banner: EdexLive with Canva

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought a four-day remand today, Friday, June 28, for four of the five people arrested by Gujarat police for alleged anomalies in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test - Undergraduate (NEET-UG) exam held on May 5 at Godhra, Panchmahal district.

CBI counsel Dhruv Malik informed the district court that, while Gujarat police had previously undertaken a probe, the agency required custody of the accused because it was conducting a new investigation, states a report by PTI.

The CBI demands custody of school teacher Tushar Bhatt, head of Jay Jalaram School Purushottam Sharma, and middlemen Vibhor Anand and Arif Vohra, who were arrested by Gujarat police on May 8 and in the following week. The CBI did not seek remand for education consultant Parsuram Roy.

All five are currently lodged in the Godhra sub-jail.

Principal District Judge of Panchmahal, CK Chauhan, expressed concern about the CBI's remand motion, stating that police or investigation agencies cannot request custody of an offender after the first 15 days after arrest.

Citing a 1992 Supreme Court ruling in the CBI v Anupam Kulkarni case, Judge Chauhan stated that an additional remand 15 days after arrest can only be given if the accused was hospitalised during that time or did not cooperate during the previous remand.

Malik, on the other hand, contended that remand beyond the first 15 days of arrest is permissible under Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure if the court deems it appropriate. He informed the court that the CBI is probing a larger conspiracy spread across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Delhi and Jharkhand.

"Last year, when NEET was held in the same school, the accused learnt that OMR answer sheets were kept there overnight before being dispatched. This gave them an idea and they asked their students to choose this centre to execute their plans," said Malik.

The court has kept further hearing on Saturday when it is expected to pronounce an order about the CBI's remand plea.

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