PMT scam: 1,045 unfair admissions cancelled in MP

Bhopal, May 9: With a Pre-Medical Test (PMT) scam coming to light in Madhya Pradesh and a subsequent probe into it, so far 1,045 admissions secured through alleged unfair practices have been cancelled in the state's various medical colleges.

The scam, which came to light in July last year, took place with alleged connivance of Madhya Pradesh Professional Board Examination (MPPBE) key officials directly associated with conducting the examination, few doctors and middlemen.

"So far we have cancelled admissions of 1,045 students who cleared PMT by allegedly adopting unfair means, including mass copying," sources associated with the probe told PTI.

The number of admissions cancelled so far include 439 of 2013, 333 of 2012, 98 of 2011, 90 in 2010 and 85 of 2009, sources said.

The main accused in the scam are MPPEB's former exam controller Pankaj Trivedi, MPPEB's system analysts Nitin Mahendra and Ajay Sen and state PMT's examination in-charge CK Mishra.

Also allegedly involved in the scam are doctors Jagdish Singh Sagar, Vinod Bhandari and Sanjeev Shilpkar. All of them are in jail under judicial custody.

The scam came to light when last year, Indore-based health activist Dr Anand Rai had tipped off police about the presence of large number of scorers (impersonators) staying in different hotels of Indore city, following which the city crime branch conducted a raid and arrested four of them.

Later, when police questioned them, they revealed that they were working for Dr Sagar, considered as the kingpin of the racket being run by him for quite a long time.

Indore police arrested Sagar from a Mumbai hotel in July last year and recovered incriminating documents, including a seating plan which matched with the MPPEB's seating arrangement.

According to Rai, the racket was operational in the state since 1994.

"We had tipped-off concerned officials about the scam way back in July 2009 following which a committee was formed in December 2009 to scrutinise the documents of the candidates who appeared in the entrance examination and later in the counselling," Rai said.

Later, looking at the seriousness of the issue, the state government handed over the probe to the Special Task Force (STF) by rejecting demand for a CBI probe into the scam.

Rai, the whistle-blower for whom the Indore Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered a security cover on April 16 this year in view of the threats he was getting from the vested interests, also informed that so far 12 questions has been asked by former Congress MLA Pratap Greval and Independent MLA Paras Saklecha with regard to the scam in the state Assembly.

The initial FIR in the case was filed in Indore's Rajendra Nagar police station in 2013. The committee scrutinising answer sheets of candidates to find out whether they adopted unfair means is trying to identify the culprits by tallying their answers and mistakes.

If a bunch of candidates was found giving same answers for the questions and also committed similar mistakes, they were considered as those involved in the scam and their admissions were subsequently cancelled.

Rai said this was just the beginning as more evidence of adopting unfair means will come out, if the probe goes on in right direction.


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