For the second year in a row, the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) book-keeping and accountancy question paper was leaked on social media at least 40 minutes before it was handed out to candidates on Friday.
Screenshots of the question paper circulated on a networking app as early as 10.20 am on Friday and a student from Mira Road was even caught viewing the message on his mobile phone inside the exam hall. Mumbai division board registered a case with the cybercrime investigation cell in Belapur on Friday later evening. The board will wait for the investigation results to ascertain the exact time of the leak and whether the screen shots reached large numbers of students, before deciding if a re-exam is necessary. Last year too, the paper of the same subject had leaked minutes before the exam on March 10, 2015.
This time, the divisional board received complaints around 11.30 pm on Friday, that the shots were being circulated on WhatsApp. Royal College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mira Road, which was an exam centre, also rang up the board around 1pm, informing them that they had caught a student viewing the message during the paper.
According to authorities at the cenre, the student entered the exam hall late, after 10.50 pm and was caught by the supervisor for carrying a mobile phone. Further probe, revealed that the student had received shots of the paper at 10.20 am, much before the exam began at 11 am. A case against the student has been registered with the Kashi Mira police station.
“The block supervisor spotted the student with the phone and found that someone had sent images of the paper to the student at 10.20 am,” said Afroz Shattari, chief conductor of exams and vice-principal of the college. “We checked the images with the question paper and they matched exactly with the entire paper.”
The shots were sent to the student by another student. “Why have you given so late?”… Akela hi pass hoga kya (will you pass alone)” read some of the messages sent to the student.
“We tallied the images on WhatsApp to the question paper and found them to be the same,” said Duttatray Jagtap, divisional chairperson. However, Jagtap added that the board will term the paper as a leak and consider a re-exam, only if it is proved that the shots reached a large number of students.
Authorities said that the incident was restricted only to the Mumbai division