CID to probe CET fraud

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29mThe State government has handed over a probe into alleged irregularities in seat allotment for Common Entrance Test (CET)-2013 to the Criminal Investigation Department.

The government, however, has not yet decided on whether to order an inquiry only into the irregularities in CET-2013 or the entire period the CET existed, Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande told mediapersons on Monday.

The government has suspended Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) Administrative Officer S P Kulkarni for the alleged irregularities in CET-2013.

The minister said the suspension was based on an inquiry by the KEA. It was found that Kulkarni, during CET-2013, helped 70 students secure seats under various quotas, despite they not being eligible. Majority of them were engineering seats and most of the students were accommodated in the rural quota.

Show-cause notices have been sent to college principals, students and tahsildars who were involved in preparing fake documents. The Higher Education Department has also constituted a legal committee to look into the replies. The seat allotments will be withdrawn.

Kulkarni was earlier removed from the post as his performance was “not satisfactory”. In April 2012, erstwhile higher education secretary Siddaiah had issued orders for his replacement. The order stated: “The official (Kulkarni) has been working in the KEA for more than four years. The KEA director has expressed dissatisfaction about him. His actions have been found in favour of private managements and against the interest of the KEA.”

Kulkarni, however, got his post back once the director concerned was transferred.

Former KEA director Chakravarthy Mohan, who was in charge during CET-2013, refused to comment. He told Deccan Herald he did not want to comment on a previous posting. “I have held several posts before. I cannot comment on my previous posts. I am responsible for my post only at that point of time. I cannot comment.”

In order to become the KEA administrative officer, one has to be a senior-scale KAS officer.

Sources in the KEA said the process of appointing a new official would not take more than three days.

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