Question paper leaks: Specific law proposed in UP in 2005, no action yet

The UP State Law Commission had proposed imprisonment for not less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life for those guilty of question paper leaks
UPTET candidates outside an examination centre in Moradabad, UP. The exam was cancelled on Sunday after a question paper leak. (PTI PHOTO)
UPTET candidates outside an examination centre in Moradabad, UP. The exam was cancelled on Sunday after a question paper leak. (PTI PHOTO)
Published on Nov 29, 2021 11:50 PM IST
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By, Lucknow

Despite frequent instances of leakage of question papers or attempts in that direction, successive state governments have not implemented the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission’s recommendation to enact a law specifically to check the menace and provide for stringent punishment as a deterrent in such cases. The commission had made the recommendation in 2005.

The commission had proposed imprisonment for not less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life for those guilty of question paper leaks. It had also proposed imprisonment of three years to 10 years for those attempting to leak the question papers.

In its third report to the state government on September 10, 2005, the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission had submitted the draft of the proposed law “The Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Leakage in Examination Papers Act, 2005.”

The state government had cancelled the Uttar Pradesh Teachers’ Eligibility Test (UP TET) on Sunday after authorities recovered question papers from at least 28 people who were subsequently arrested. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath warned of invoking provisions of the National Security Act (NSA) and using bulldozer against those accused of leaking the question paper.

Apart from the current government, the regimes of Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati have been in office in Uttar Pradesh since 2005.

“Yes, there is a need for a specific law to check leakage of question papers and punish those responsible for the same. The candidates prepare and travel long distances to appear for the competitive examinations. They are left in agony, suffering a lot physically and mentally. There are provisions in existing laws to deal with the menace. A separate law will, however, be better,” said Justice (retired) AN Mittal, chairman of the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission.

“The candidates come well prepared for the examination. But for the second attempt, they are not left with the same zeal,” said Justice Mittal.

“Leakage of question papers in examination is becoming rampant. It badly affects the examinees and leads to additional expenditure on the state government. This can be averted with the implementation of the report of the commission that dealt into various aspects of the issue,” said Justice (retired) Vishnu Sahai, who headed the commission in 2005 with Justice (retired) IS Mathur, the then director Allah Rahman (who also became HC judge later) and Balraj Chauhan as its members.

“Of late, leakage in examination papers is becoming increasingly rampant in our state, resulting not only in a big dent in the credibility of examination system, but also lot of valuable time of students (sometimes denying them chances of appearing in competition) as papers in respect of which there has been a leakage have to be reset. On account of leakage of examination papers, enormous hardship is caused to the students and image of our state smeared,” the commission had observed in 2005.

“…. The Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Leakage in Examination Papers Act, 2005 be enacted by the state of UP, wherein deterrent punishment be provided for those who either themselves commit the offence of leakage in Examination Papers or abet the commission of such an offence or are a part of criminal conspiracy to commit such an offence,” it had said.

It had also recommended, “Imprisonment which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall be liable to pay a fine which shall not be less than rupees ten thousand but which may extend to rupees one lakh.”

The commission had said the state government, with concurrence of the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court, should constitute special courts to be presided over by a judge/additional judge who has the experience of working as sessions judge/ additional sessions judge.

“The Commission is of considered view that if this is done (recommendations are implemented) there is every likelihood of decrease in leakage of examination papers,” the commission had observed in its report in 2005.

Uttar Pradesh minister for law and justice Brajesh Pathak was not available for comment on the matter.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Umesh Raghuvanshi is a journalist with over three decade experience. He covers politics, finance, environment and social issues. He has covered all assembly and parliament elections in Uttar Pradesh since 1984.

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