The special investigation team (SIT) of Bihar police arrested the father of the controversial science ‘topper’ in the Bihar intermediate examination from the Kanti Road factory area in east Patna early on Friday.
The science and arts stream toppers came into the limelight after they gave ridiculous answers to basic questions on their subjects in a video which went viral. It prompted the state government to order a crackdown on the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), following the merit muddle in May.
The science topper’s father is the first parent to be arrested in the case, apart from senior officials and staff of the BSEB, eight of whom are already in prison. The board’s chairman Lalkeshwar Singh, his wife, son-in-law, owners of some colleges and several others were found to have connived to manipulate results of undeserving students who paid lakhs to secure the first division.
The science topper and 13 others were summoned by the board for a re-test, which most of them failed. The arts topper, Ruby Rai, was sent to Beur model jail. Last week, she was shifted from Beur jail to a remand home after the court accepted Ruby’s age on the basis of her matriculation certificate stating her date of birth as November 15, 1998.
Rai was denied bail by a juvenile court on Wednesday.
The special investigation unit had earlier moved the court to institute cases against four of the toppers and their parents, who were on the run.
Investigators have found details of collusion of BSEB top officials in the scam, by which colleges undeserving of affiliation were granted recognition without fulfilling criteria for land, laboratory, own buildings and prescribed quota of teachers, besides other things.
They also found that most of these colleges had no enrollment or teachers and only registered students at examination time who paid full fees and were asked to pay lakhs to secure first divisions.
The Vishun Rai college, which is in the eye of the merit storm, enrolled some 650 students of whom nearly 600 passed in first division and just three in the second division with one failure.