TSPSC paper leak: Telangana HC seeks status report, TPCC wants CBI probe

The Telangana High Court asked the State Government to submit a preliminary status report on the SIT investigation into the TSPSC question paper leak case

Telangana High Court

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday asked the State Government to submit a preliminary status report on the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigation into the TSPSC question paper leak case.

The High Court gave the key directions while hearing a petition filed by the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC). TPCC President Revanth Reddy attended the hearing as the petitioner in the case. In response to the Telangana High Court’s directions for a preliminary report by the SIT, the State Government sought time for the same. Heeding the request, the High Court later adjourned the case for further hearing to April 11, 2023.

Arguing on behalf of the petitioner, advocate Vivek Dhanka likened the TSPSC question paper leak case to the Vyapam case of Madhya Pradesh and sought directions from the court for a detailed probe either by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other independent agency. He submitted a copy of the Vyapam scam judgement to the High Court while recalling that the Supreme Court had, in the past, entrusted the investigation of the sensational case in Madhya Pradesh to the CBI.

“Six entrance examinations have been cancelled. Over five lakh aspirants had appeared for these different tests. Over 4.5 lakh had written the Group-1 examinations. Out of them, 25,000 had qualified in prelims,” he said.

The petitioner’s counsel referred to the recent statement by Telangana Minister K T Rama Rao that only two persons were involved in the question paper leakage scandal. He wondered how the Minister could attribute the complicity to only two persons when the case investigation was only in the preliminary stage. He told the court that a detailed investigation was needed to unravel the truth in the scam and said that they had no faith in the local police and their probe.

Vivek Dhanka also questioned the rationale of the TSPSC in not uploading the details of the candidates qualified in the Preliminary examinations onto its official website. He sought to know as to why the TSPSC was maintaining utmost secrecy about the qualified candidates. The petitioner’s counsel further said that more than 20 candidates from one mandal emerged among the top scorers. “A detailed investigation into the scam either by the CBI or any other independent agency should be ordered,” he said.

The counsel for the State Government however dismissed these apprehensions, asserting that the case was being investigated in a fair and transparent manner and that there was no need for entrusting the probe to the CBI. “The petitioners have nothing to do with the cancellation of the entrance examinations. The petition was filed purely based on political interests. It should be dismissed since it has no locus standi. It has become a common practice to file such petitions, largely to garner hype to their attempts,” the counsel remarked.

The Government counsel further said that the State Government had immediately responded as soon as the question paper leakage came to light. So far, nine persons have been arrested by the SIT which is also visiting several mandals in Telangana for a deeper investigation. The court has granted custody of the accused from March 18 till March 23. The State Government had cancelled the six entrance examinations on public demand,” the counsel informed the High Court.

Meanwhile, the SIT on Tuesday also conducted searches in Hyderabad, Mahabubnagar and Jagtial. They reportedly carried out these searches at the residences of the three main accused, Rajasekhar Reddy, Praveen and Renuka Rathod to unravel a possible wider network involved in the conspiracy.

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