After evading arrests for about 20 days, the three junior clerks of University of Pune (UoP) named in re-evaluation scam surrendered before Chatuhshringi police on Tuesday.
The police arrested the trio for their alleged role in fraudulently increasing marks of 21 students in re-evaluation process in return of money. They were produced before a magistrate court which remanded them in three-day police custody.
The arrested clerks have been identified as Ramesh Shelar (43), Ashok Ranwade (44), both residents of university staff quarters, and Chetan Parbhane (38) of Ravet used to work with the UoP Examination Department when the alleged irregularities took place but were later transferred to other departments.
Assistant Police Inspector Mahesh Bolkotgi, who is investigating the case, produced the trio before the court of judicial magistrate (first class) AG Sanatani, for seeking a week's police custody. "The custodial interrogation of the trio is required to know their modus operandi as well as nab their accomplices. The chain of accused could lead us to higher officials of the university," Bolkotgi told the court.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Anil Kumbhar submitted, "Investigations have revealed that the accused made changes in the marks of students saved in computers of the re-evaluation department. Police need to investigate the nexus between students, accused and the teachers who checked the papers."
The defence lawyer opposed the police's demand of a week long custody on the ground that none of the student from whom the accused allegedly collected money has passed in the examination. The lawyer also alleged that the fact finding committee which had named the trio was biased and based on suspicion and hypotheses. They said that the accused didn't have any access in the re-evaluation process. After hearing both the sides, the magistrate remanded the accused to police custody till January 10.
On December 18, UoP controller of examination Sampada Joshi had filed a complaint against the trio after a three-member fact-finding committee found the three clerks to be prima facie involved in the alleged irregularities.
It was Cantonment Police which, while probing a dummy student racket in the Poona College, stumbled upon leads that suggested a cash for marks irregularities in the examination department. According to cantonment police, confessions of 'dummy student racket' suspects Gaus Shaikh and Salim Majid Shaikh, suggests that students from BBA and BCA streams who had failed in various subjects applied for re-evaluation of the papers and paid