Patna, march 20: The Patna High Court today criticised the Bihar government over the issue of large-scale copying by students in the ongoing matriculation examination in the state and instructed it to forthwith stop the use of unfair means.
A division bench of Chief Justice L Narasimha Reddy and Justice Vikash Jain converted the report of large-scale cheating in matriculation examination published in an English daily as a PIL and directed state police chief to stop it immediately.
The court also issued summons to the education department to appear before it on next Friday to respond on the subject.
The court direction came after senior lawyer and office bearer of Aam Admi Party (AAP) Basant Kumar Chaudhary drew its attention showing the newspaper report.
Soon after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a high level meeting and ordered that steps be taken immediately to stop cheating in the matriculation examination.
Education minister P K Shahi, Director General of Police P K Thakur, Principal Secretary to the home department Amir Subhani and his counterpart in education department R K Mahajan attended the meeting at Kumar's chamber at the secretariat, a statement by the CMO said.
The chief minister also ordered action against policemen and magistrates on examination duty if they were found involved in abetting cheating.
Visuals showing people scaling three to four storeyed exam centres to pass on chits to their wards and in some cases even policemen extending a helping hand to them in return for money have gone viral in the social media.
The CM's review meeting and strict instruction to stop cheating in matriculation examination came a day after Education minister P K Shahi said the government alone cannot ensure 100 per cent cheating-free examinations of the scale of matriculation exam in the state in which 14.26 lakh students were appearing from 1,217 centres in the state since March 17.
A total 271 students were barred from writing their examinations after being caught cheating at different parts of the states yesterday, sources in the special cell in Bihar School Examination Board said.
Another 515 students faced same punishment in the previous two days taking the figure of students barred to 786.
Three impersonators and 36 parents were arrested yesterday in the anti-cheating operation across the state, it said.