In a major crackdown on impersonators, the local police have booked 10 primary school teachers, presently teaching in different schools of Haryana, for alleged cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy after forensic tests confirmed that someone else appeared in their place in the State Teacher Eligibility Test (STET), conducted by education department of Haryana.
"We have registered a case under section 420 (for cheating), 467 (for forgery), 468 (for forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (for using a forged document as genuine) and 120-B (for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)," said inspector Sanjeev Malik, station house officer of Chandimandir police station.
He said the complaint in this case was filed by district elementary education officer (DEEO) Randhir Singh.
"The thumb impressions and signatures taken inside the examination hall during the test did not match with when they applied for the job as teachers, implying someone else had sat in their place to take the exam," said Panchkula DEEO Randhir Singh.
The DEEO filed the complaint as per the orders from higher ups in the department. He added that it was the first FIR in Panchkula district, while similar cases were being registered in other parts of state as well.
The investigations by the state's forensic science laboratory were initiated after the high court-ordered preliminary probe found that candidates indulged in impersonation, forgery and cheating during the examination.
The high court judgment dated August 3, 2015 stated that director of elementary education, Haryana, would endeavour to consider the reply of individual candidates who have replied to the show-cause notice and on considering their reply pragmatically, take action, if any, in accordance with law and the criminal action proposed to be initiated should be immediately put into motion.
The advertisement for recruitment of JBTs was issued in 2009. The selections were challenged in 2011 before the high court. During the investigations by forensic science laboratory of Madhuban, it was found that out of a total of 6,081 teachers; only 4,743 were found to be right candidates, while for 581 someone else appeared.
For 757 candidates, the forensic science laboratory couldn't give a conclusive opinion.
Those in the dock
As per FIR registered on Saturday, Suresh Kumar, who is teaching in Bhiwani; Sanjeev Kumar of Rewari; Amit Yadav of Bhiwani; Kuldeep of Bhiwani; Praveen of Bhiwani; Sanjeev Sharma of Panchkula; Mahesh of Hisar; Brijesh Kumar of Hisar; Pramod Kumar of Jind; and Kiran Lata of Sirsa have been booked.