Home Uttarakhand Chargesheet filed against 60 accused in Patwari Paper Leak Case

Chargesheet filed against 60 accused in Patwari Paper Leak Case

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Haridwar, 7 Apr: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Uttarakhand Police investigating the Patwari/Lekhpal paper leak case filed a charge sheet against 60 accused in the court today. The SIT has claimed that it is tightening the noose on the entire gang.

So far, the SIT has, on the basis of the evidence collected till now, arrested 20 accused including the main accused, Sanjeev Chaturvedi. In addition, after giving legal notices to 40 candidates, the SIT, led by SSP Haridwar, has filed a charge sheet in the court against a total of 60 accused. While 20 who have been charge sheeted are those directly involved in the illegal act, the remaining 40 are examinees who had paid money for the papers in the hope of passing the competition by cheating. They too have been brought under the purview of the charge-sheet submitted in the Court today.

It may be recalled that, following revelations about paper leaks involving several competitive examinations conducted in the past six or seven years, both, by the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission and the Uttarakhand State Public Service Commission, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had issued strict instructions to the investigating teams not to spare anyone and to go after the copying mafia and prosecute them under the new Uttarakhand Competitive Examination (Measures for Control & Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment) Act enacted by his government, recently.

Speaking with media persons, Haridwar SSP Ajay Singh claimed he is satisfied that the SIT team has identified the right culprits after collecting scientific and other evidence in this complex case. He expressed confidence that the copying mafia would not be able to escape punishment. It may be recalled that this case was previously being investigated by the Uttarakhand Special Task Force but later was handed over to SIT Haridwar led by SSP Haridwar Ajay Singh. Ajay Singh has the image of being an upright officer, who means business. Investigations into the Patwari paper leak made rapid progress after it was transferred to the Haridwar SIT.

During the course of investigation, it was found that there were, in all, 7 conspirators in this particular paper leak case, while others were accomplices. The SIT claims to have succeeded in nabbing all the 20 accused.

Some major accused persons who have been charge-sheeted include the alleged chief conspirator, Sanjeev Chaturvedi, who was posted as Section Officer in Section-3 of the State Public Service Commission in Haridwar. He has been charged under Sections 409, 420, 120B, 411, 201 of IPC and under Sections 4, 5, 7, 10 of the Examination Prevention Act and Sections 7, 13 Prevention of Corruption Act. His wife, Ritu Chaturvedi, too, has been charged under Sections 409, 420, 120B, 411 of the IPC and under 9, 10 of the Uttarakhand Competitive Examination (Measures for Control & Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment) Act and under Sections 8, 12 of Prevention of Corruption Act. Others who have been charge-sheeted under similar provisions of the IPC and other relevant acts include Sonu from District Saharanpur, Deepak from Khanpur (District Haridwar), Saurabh Prajapati from Jwalapur, Suresh from Saharanpur, Dharmendra from Haridwar and Devi Singh from Saharanpur.

According to the SIT, more proceedings will follow soon in the case. It may be recalled that a case in the paper leak of Patwari/Lekhpal recruitment exam was registered by Uttarakhand Police at Police Station, Kankhal (Haridwar), on 12 January, 2023.  In the FIR, Sanjeev Chaturvedi was named as the chief accused and arrested soon after getting CCTV footage from UKPSC and other places and after collecting scientific and forensic evidence. Printers hired to print the copies of the leaked question paper, the mobile phones used during the commission of the crime, blank cheques, educational certificates of many candidates and cash worth lakhs of rupees were also recovered from the possession of the accused.