The re-examination too had to be cancelled as the same modus operandi was allegedly used by the accused, who were physical education teachers in various schools of Karnataka, in collusion with the bureaucrat and others. Even before Karnataka’s counsel V N Raghupathy began his argument, a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked, “These people are ruining the education system.” The SC recalled the huge scam in Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (popularly known by its Hindi acronym ‘Vyapam’), which was unearthed in 2011.
Maintaining fairness is a fundamental requirement of any examination. An alleged abuse of the system by a senior bureaucrat has rightly prompted a serious view from the apex court. We all know that power comes with responsibility. When those in positions of authority are the ones violating the rules, the violation must be viewed even more seriously.
It involved 13 different exams conducted by Vyapam for selection of medical students and state government employees. The CJI-led bench said, “We know of the Vyapam case in MP. What happened there? The education system is getting distorted and perverted.” It issued notice to the accused in the Karnataka case and stayed the HC order discharging them from the case. In 2016, the SC had ordered a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam, which involved legislators, bureaucrats, professionals and businessmen and it was alleged that bribes were paid for securing high ranks in recruitment examinations to get government jobs and seats in medical colleges.
In a 4,000 page chargesheet, the CBI last month named 60-odd accused before a Gwalior court. Then, there was the case of one Ruby Rai, whose father allegedly helped her through unfair means to secure top rank in Bihar state board’s Class 12 examination in 2016. Rai was exposed when she referred to ‘political science’ as ‘prodigal science’ before TV cameras and went on to explain that prodigal science was all about cooking. Indicating no leniency to those who pollute the examination system at the cost of meritorious students, the CJI-led bench said, “We want to send a message.”