Chennai/New Delhi, March 30: Four promising doctors aged 26 to 30 had masterminded the medical entrance exam fraud, done with high-tech gadgetry, including a pen-size camera, the CBI said today after arresting them.
Their names cropped up during raids on the clinics of 35 doctors in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry who had sat for the all-India postgra-duate medical entrance examination in January, a senior CBI official said.
“Some more doctors may be arrested,” he added.
A CBI source in Delhi said the entire question paper had been scanned with a pen-size gadget called “Doc Pen”, which was then passed outside the exam centre. The contents were downloaded on a computer and solved.
The answers to the multiple-choice questions (which would be in the form of a, b, c') were sent via SMS to the candidates, who had been allowed in with their cell phones.
“The Doc Pen can scan one page in four seconds. As there were 80 sheets in the question paper, it would have taken less than six minutes to scan. We presume one of the candidates did this,” the CBI source said.
Cases have so far been registered against 28 candidates ' 22 from the Tamil Nadu region, which includes Pondicherry, and six who appeared in Delhi centres.
The CBI source said that of the second group of six, three were from Delhi and the rest from the Uttar Pradesh towns of Bareilly, Gorakhpur and Rampur. All 28 figure high on the merit list.
The arrested “kingpins” ' two MD students and two senior resident physicians at a premier institute (see chart) ' will be produced in court tomorrow because today was a local holiday. They had charged each candidate between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for their help, said N.R.K. Reddy, deputy inspector-general with the CBI’s anti-corruption bureau in Chennai.
The initial suspicions were aroused by the stunning success of candidates at some of the Chennai centres.
The first batch of 100 answer sheets examined from a centre threw up 37 qualifiers, against the usual average of about 5 to 18. The overall success percentage in the region was just over 10 ' 421 out of 4,188 candidates.
The Union health ministry, which received a complaint, asked for a CBI probe, Reddy said.
The CBI in Delhi ' all the answer sheets had been sent to the capital after the exam ' noticed an interesting feature: most of the candidates under the glare had correctly answered the same set of questions while getting another set of identical questions wrong. The case was handed over to the agency’s south zone office in March.
The raids on the candidates’ clinics were carried out over the past two days, Reddy said.
A total of 36,945 candidates had taken the exam, held by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, across 61 centres in India. Ten of the centres were in Chennai.