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Patna HC dismisses bail plea of former BSEB chief in toppers scam case

The scam broke out in May-end last year after Bihar School Examination Board’s Class 12 humanities and science toppers, interviewed by TV channels, were unable to answer simple questions

patna Updated: Oct 11, 2017 18:08 IST
Prashant Pratap
Prashant Pratap
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar School Examination Board,BSEB,Patna high court
Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, former chairman of Bihar School Examination Board. (HT file photo)

The Patna high court on Wednesday dismissed the bail petition of former Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh in the toppers scam case.

While rejecting the petition, justice Rakesh Kumar said the court was taking a judicial notice of the fact that the toppers scam had tarnished the image of the state’s education system. “This court cannot shut its eye on such a serious issue,” justice Kumar said, adding that the Supreme Court had set aside the bail granted to a co-accused in the case.

Justice Kumar also asked the trial court to commence the proceedings in the case soon and take the matter to its logical end without any delay.

Pleading for bail to Singh, his counsel and former advocate general Shashi Anagrah Narayan contended that the petitioner was in custody since June last year and the chargesheet in the case had already been filed. There was no admissible evidence as per law against the petitioner, except hearsay allegations, he said, and added that many co-accused had been already granted bail.

Opposing the bail plea, advocate general Lalit Kishore said Singh was the main conspirator and there were sufficient evidences against him. Singh and Baccha Rai, a co-accused and principal of ‘controversial’ Vishun Roy College (Vaishali), were in regular touch, as proved from call detail records of their mobile phones.

READ| Masters at 15: Intermediate scam co-accused Usha is a ‘child prodigy’

Singh and his wife Usha Sinha, a co-accused in the case, were arrested from Varanasi on June 20, 2016.

A former Janata Dal(United) MLA and former principal of Patna-based Ganga Devi College, Sinha was later released on bail in December 2016.

READ| Bihar toppers scam: Accused Usha Sinha out on bail

The scam broke out in May-end last year after BSEB Class 12 humanities and science toppers, interviewed by TV channels, were unable to answer simple questions. It prompted the state government to order a crackdown on the BSEB, following the merit muddle. An inquiry revealed an organised racket in declaring undeserving persons as toppers.

The BSEB later cancelled the results of a minor girl who was declared as the humanities topper. She grabbed national headlines by claiming she was taught cooking in political science classes. She could barely pronounce her subject, which she referred to as ‘prodigal science’.

She was arrested on June 25 after she came to appear in a retest and later released on bail on August 1, 2016.

On June 4, the BSEB also cancelled the results of two toppers, including Sourabh Shrestha of the science stream, after they failed to prove their merits in a re-test. Sourabh had secured 485 out of 500 in science stream while the arts topper had received 444 marks of 500.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 18:08 IST