Court sends Russian national to CBI custody in JEE-Mains exam manipulation case

PTI, Oct 4, 2022, 6:05 PM IST

Representative Image (Credit: Getty Images)

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday sent a Russian national, arrested for alleged manipulation of JEE (Mains) examination last year, to two days’ CBI custody.

Duty Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta sent the accused, Mikhail Shargin, to CBI custody till October 6 after he was produced before the court and the agency requested for his remand to unravel the conspiracy.

“This court is of the view that for the purpose of carrying out investigation PC (police custody) remand of the accused is necessary and so this court partly allows the application moved by the IO and grants police custody remand of the accused for two days only,” the judge said.

In its application seeking a five-day remand of the accused, the CBI told the court he was to be quizzed about the data present in his phone, laptop and external hard disk. The central agency had issued a ‘Look Out Circular’ against Shargin, suspected to be main hacker, for alleged manipulation of the prestigious examination, the CBI said.

The CBI said it was alerted by the Bureau of Immigration when Shargin arrived at the airport from Almaty, Kazakhstan, adding he was immediately detained by the agency on his arrival here on Monday.

”During investigation, it came to light that some foreign nationals were involved in compromising many online examinations, including JEE (Mains), colluding with other accused in the instant case,” the CBI said.

The investigation indicated Shargin tampered with the iLeon software, the platform on which the JEE (Main)-2021 examination was conducted, and also helped other accused in hacking the computer systems of suspect candidates during the examination, it said.

In September last year, the agency had booked Affinity Education Pvt Ltd and its three directors, Siddharth Krishna, Vishwambhar Mani Tripathi and Govind Varshney, besides other touts and associates for alleged manipulation of examination.

It was alleged that the three directors, in conspiracy with other associates and touts, were manipulating the online examination of JEE (Mains) and facilitating aspiring students to get admission in top National Institutes of Technology in exchange for huge amounts of money. They used to solve the questions through remote access from a chosen examination centre in Sonepat (Haryana).

”It was also alleged that the accused used to obtain class 10 and 12 mark sheets, user IDs, passwords, and post dated cheques of aspiring students in different parts of the country as security and once admission was done, they used to collect heavy amount ranging from 12-15 lakh (approx) per candidate,” the CBI said.

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