Ruby Rai, the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB)’s Class XII (arts) topper of 2016 did not write the answer sheets on her own. Instead, the answer sheets were written by ‘experts’, according to forensic reports.
According to the report of the forensic science laboratory (FSL), the handwriting on the answer sheets of Rai were not hers, but of the experts who wrote for her, said Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj who received a copy of the report on Saturday.
Rai, the arts topper had failed to answer rudimentary questions during a media interaction soon after the results were announced last May. She had said ‘prodigal’ (political) science was all about cooking. The video clip went viral, causing widespread condemnation of the education system in Bihar.
SSP Manu Maharaaj told HT that out of six papers in class 12 examination, Ruby wrote only the Home Science paper while the remaining five papers --- Hindi, English, Geography, Political Science and Music -- were written by a team of ‘experts.’
“The report also mentions that many answer sheets did not even have the board’s watermark, proving they were inserted, post the examination,” the SSP said.
He said it established that answer sheets were not procured from board but from elsewhere. The FSL submitted report of answer sheets of Rai while reports of forensic test of other examinations sheets of other so called toppers, were still awaited.
A special investigation team headed by Patna senior SP Manu Maharaaj was formed to investigate the case after the merit scam broke. The team had collected handwriting samples of Rai and other toppers and handed it over to FSL for examination on June 29.
The state education department had lodged an FIR against Vishnu Rai College of Vaishali which ‘produced’ this year’s four toppers- Ruby Rai, Saurav Shrestha, Shalini Ray and Saurav Kumar- all suspected of having adopted foul means.
The cases were lodged following a nationwide furore. Chief minister Nitish Kumar also ordered a criminal investigation into the scam.
Officials of the Bihar State Education Board (BSEB), superintendents at the exam and evaluation centres, where the answer scripts were evaluated, were also named in the two-page FIR lodged by secondary education secretary Rajiv Ranjan Prasad.
The board called 14 students for a re-test but Ruby, who had scored 444 out of 500 marks, skipped it citing ill health. Thereafter, she was given time till June 14 to take the re-test or risk getting the result struck down.
She was arrested on June 25 after she came to appear in the test and later released on bail on August 1.
Board chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, his wife and former JD (U) MLA Usha Sinha and V R College principal Bachcha Rai were also arrested in the case, along with several personnel of the Bihar state examination board.