Bedi Ram Bharti, the alleged mastermind behind leaking question papers of the 2013 state services examinations conducted by Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC), has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday night.
Bharti's arrest comes at a time when the state government has been drawing flak for a massive corruption scandal in competitive tests conducted by the MP Professional Examinations Board. The PEB scam involved multiple rackets that helped candidates rig the examinations for money, including employing imposters to write test papers, manipulating sitting arrangements as well as supplying forged answer sheets.
The MPPSC had cancelled the state services examination following the arrest of four persons in June this year by the Delhi police. The accused had sold question papers to at least 52 candidates in MP for Rs 30-40 lakh each.
Bharti, a chief ticket collector with the railways, has been under suspension since 2006 when he was arrested on charges of leaking papers for railway recruitment board examination.
Uttar Pradesh superintendent of police (Special Task Force) Triveni Singh said Bharti had been arrested in 2012 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with Delhi PMT paper leak case. The 47-year-old was also an accused in 2012 Chhattisgarh PMT paper leak case. Singh said the accused got bail in both cases.
Bharti is also wanted in the leaking of question papers for ayurvedic medical officers' recruitment test held in May this year. The exam was cancelled after the fraud surfaced. About a dozen people were arrested in connection with this case.
The MP STF, which is investigating the scams, will be visiting Uttar Pradesh to quiz Bharti, said Singh.
A resident of Janupur district, Bharti was arrested from Lucknow after the police were tipped about his presence by Ramakant Yadav and Deepak Patel who were arrested in connection with Allahabad Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) scam, Singh said.
A police official investigating the case said Bharti had developed contacts with printing houses where question papers were printed. He would procure the papers directly and sell them to candidates.
"We are also investigating the involvement of any MPPSC official," the official said.
Who is Bedi Ram Bharti?
A chief ticket collector with railways. Since 2006, he has been under suspension after his arrest on charges of leaking railways exam papers.
Bharati had links with printing houses in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, where question papers are published.
What he charged for papers
Railway recruitment board: Rs 6-10 lakh.
Pre-medical test: Rs 30-35 lakh.
Madhya Pradesh state service exam: Rs 30-40 lakh.
Owns three big houses in Lucknow, some land in other parts of Uttar Pradesh and a small transport company in Lucknow.