A metropolitan magistrate acquitted 33 young people, including five girls, who were caught cheating in an examination, saying he did not want to ruin their future.
The young people were accused of receiving answers on their mobile phones, while taking an exam at the Delhi Engineering College in 2005.
The CBI had been called in by the college authorities after all the 33 candidates submitted identical papers and scored the same marks. The CBI alleged they had paid for the answers, which they received on their cellphones.
Delivering judgement last Wednesday, Magistrate P.R. Sarkar, however, noted that all of them were still in their early twenties when “their capacity for understanding is still developing”. Pointing out that they had already been debarred by Delhi University, and were enrolled in courses at other institutions, he said there was no point in ruining their lives by sending them to jail.
“I do not see any positive impact… by sentencing these youngsters,” he said.
Instead he pulled up their parents for failing to instil the right values in them. “These parents do not have faith in fair means and the fairness of the system,” he noted.