Patna police arrested 13 persons on day of NEET UG itself, Bihar govt tells SC

Read Time: 06 minutes


After the Union government decided on June 23 to transfer the investigation to the CBI, the state government stated that it had handed over all records to the central agency

The Bihar government informed the Supreme Court that the Patna police received information about illegal activities related to NEET UG 2024 and arrested 13 individuals on May 5, the same day the examination for medical college admissions was held nationwide and abroad.

"Some incriminating materials, including suspected mobile phones were recovered and seized. On 06.05.2024 they were sent to the judicial custody and a seizure list of seized items was prepared," it said.

The FIR in the case was also lodged at Shastrinagar Police Station (Patna), on May 5 under Sections 407, 408, 409 and 120 (B) IPC. 

In an affidavit in a writ petition filed by Vanshika Yadav and others, the state government said, "The agencies carried out detailed and scientific investigation. Some of the accused person were found be involved in other similar offences in past. Even the candidates were questioned. Four candidates were also arrested who admitted their involvement in illegalities."

On May 17, 2024, the case was transferred to the Economic Offences Unit, Bihar Patna. Firstly the District Police and then EOU carried out the investigation. 

"In view of seriousness and gravity of the offence and the possible link attached to other States, an eight member SIT (special investigation team) was formed on May 20, 2024 under the Superintendent of Police, rank officer Economic Offenses Unit, Bihar, Patna to investigate this case. The progress of the investigation was being regularly reviewed and monitored by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Economic Offenses Unit and Additional Director General of Police, Economic Offenses Unit," it pointed out.

The state government said the EOU found involvement of many more persons and even involvement of accused persons from the State of Jharkhand. The EOU detained six additional suspects for questioning in the intervening night of June 20-21, 2024. Thereafter two accused persons, one out of six suspects questioned, were arrested by the EOU on June 22, 2024. 

The state government also said it submitted a report on June 20, 2024 to the Government of India, Ministry of Education, Department of Higher Education in compliance with its letter.

As the CBI took over the investigation on June 23, following a decision by the Union government, the state government said it handed over all records to the central agency.

"In view of the fact that the investigation is now being carried out by CBI, the present affidavit is being filed without details of outcome of the investigation carried out so far by the State agencies, since this may affect the pending investigation by the CBI," it said.

The NEET UG, 2024, conducted by the National Testing Agency on May 5, was mired in controversy with allegations of paper leakage and other irregularities.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider a batch of petitions on Monday, July 8, 2024, seeking cancellation of the examinations.

The Union government and the NTA by their separate affidavits have opposed before the court the plea for cancellation of entire examination as it may affect lakhs of honest students.

Case Title: Vanshika Yadav and Others Vs the Union of India & Ors