The Madras High Court was on Thursday informed by the National Testing Agency (NTA) that thumb impressions of 4,250 students admitted to medical courses in Tamil Nadu this year were sent to the Crime-Branch CID that is probing the NEET impersonation scam. Making the submission before a bench of justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan, the NTA said the thumb impressions were collected when the students appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) across the country.
These thumb impressions would be compared with those obtained during admission to medical courses to find out if there was any mismatch. The court had on October 16 directed the NTA to send all details, including thumb impressions, to the CB-CID and file a compliance report.
The NTA also said thumb impressions of those admitted to deemed to be universities in the state alone were yet to be received by the CB-CID. The bench then directed the CB-CID to visit the deemed universities along with forensic department and obtain the thumb impressions, adding the process should be video graphed and the universities should extend cooperation.
Since the assistance of experts would be required to compare the thumb impressions, the court impleaded the director of Finger Print Bureau here and directed it to provide the needed manpower. The court took note of the NEET impersonation scam while hearing a petition filed by S Dheeran for a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to undertake proper counselling and 'mop-up procedure' to fill the 207 management quota MBBS seats in various colleges.
The impersonation had come to light in September this year when a suspicion was raised over K V Udit Surya, a student of Theni Medical College. A proxy candidate had allegedly appeared for NEET instead of Udit Surya. Based on the marks secured in the exam, Surya joined the Theni Medical College.
After investigation, the student and his father, who is a doctor in government service, and a Kerala-based agent have been arrested on charges of impersonation.
After questioning of the three, it came to light that a number of other students from Tamil Nadu had used foul means to get admission in MBBS course.
During preliminary inquiry, it was revealed that lakhs of rupees reportedly changed hands to help aspirants join MBBS through illegal means. Observing that the impersonation fraud may not be confined just to Tamil Nadu and may have been all over the country, the high court had earlier impleaded the HRD Ministry and other authorities, including the state DGP, as respondents.