The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cheating on answer-scripts
- Higher Secondary Council charged with forgery and fraud

After turning red in the face over faulty evaluation of answerscripts, the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary (HS) Education has now been slapped with a case of cheating, forgery and fraud. This time, too, in a case over evaluation of answer-scripts.

Chandan Jana of Midnapore had moved high court for what he believed was faulty marking of his answer-script. He had received zero in all his papers, except Bengali, in HS 2002.

The court had directed the HS Council to produce all his scripts. On Friday, the Council did so and found that except one answer-script, all the others were blank. They only had Chandan’s name and the roll number on them. Chandan claimed that the writing on the script was not his. His private tutor, present in the court, supported the claim. Chandan’s lawyer, Ashis Kumar Roy, then charged the Council with forgery and cheating.

“I am sure my client’s answer-scripts have been replaced. These are not the original ones. The originals are missing and they have been replaced with these forged ones to save the Council from embarrassment,” said lawyer Roy.

Justice Pratap Roy had to call in a handwriting expert. In an interim order, the court said the matter would be proceeded with once the report of the handwriting expert was made available. The case has been adjourned for two weeks.

Meanwhile, charges of forgery, cheating and fraud have been added to the case that Chandan had originally filed. The answer-scripts for the Bengali First and Second papers were the only ones that had something written on them, but a few pages were missing. “My scripts have been tampered with and the pages torn, so that my scores cannot be evaluated,” alleged Chandan.

Last year, after the publication of the Higher Secondary results, Chandan found he had scored 18 marks in Bengali and noughts in all the other subjects. He applied for a review, but the results were the same.

Earlier, his case had taken another curious turn. During the hearing, the court had asked the Council to recheck the scripts and submit a report. But the Council, instead, chose to send Chandan a fresh marksheet. While all the other marks remained the same, in mathematics paper, he was given 200 marks out of 100. Chandan then filed a writ petition before Calcutta High Court.

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