The police force is supposed to be the custodian of law and order but the administration in Kerala was left red-faced on Monday after a top police officer in the state was allegedly caught cheating during a university law examination.
Inspector general of police (Thrissur range) TJ Jose had to leave the exam hall 30 minutes before the test ended at St Paul’s College in Kalamasserry, on the outskirts of the port city of Kochi, after invigilators found he was allegedly copying from a textbook.
Jose denied the charges and described the incident as a conspiracy to defame him. “Nobody prevented me from leaving the examination hall. And no material was seized from me,” he said.
The invigilators said they weren’t aware of Jose’s designation when they caught him. They said they would ask Mahatma Gandhi University, which is conducting the exam, to take action against him.
The embarrassed state government asked additional director general of police Shankar Reddy to probe the incident and submit a report immediately.
Confirming the incident, VJ Peter, vice-principal of St Paul's College, said university authorities would be informed about the matter.
As news of the incident spread, student unions jumped on to the bandwagon and sought a high-level inquiry. Attempts were reportedly made to cover up the incident.
This isn’t the first time Kerala has seen such a high-profile case of malpractice during an exam.
In 2012, Communist Party of India legislator ES Bijimol was caught allegedly copying answers during an LLB examination but was let off for want of evidence. Jose, however, is likely to face debarment by the varsity and be subject to a departmental inquiry.
Director general of police KS Balasubramaniam said he would take necessary action once he received the report.
The cheating menace hit the headlines earlier this year after hundreds of people in Bihar were caught on camera perched on walls to pass on papers and notes to examinees.