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For CAT scam brain, charity began at home

Last updated on: November 27, 2003 13:00 IST

For Dr Ranjit Singh, the alleged kingpin of the gang involved in the CAT question paper leak, charity began at home.

Ranjit not only acquired an MBBS degree for himself but also managed medical degrees for a large number of his kin and well-wishers.

The medical graduate of 2000 batch of Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) secured admission of his younger brother Shravan Azad in Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in 1995, who passed MBBS exam in 2001, according to CBI sources

Ranjit's sister Sulochana was admitted to PMCH in 1997 and he is alleged to have secured admission of Birendra Singh, the younger brother of his brother-in-law Nagendra Singh in Patna Dental College in 2001.

Dr Manoj Kumar, who was arrested along with Ranjit while leaking the question paper of CAT test by the CBI and was his batchmate in DMCH, revealed to the investigative agency that his younger brother Deepak Kumar was admitted to King George Medical College, Lucknow, in 1997.

Manoj's younger sister Ranju Kumari is a student of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Jamshedpur.

The Bihar Director General of Police, D P Ojha, in his capacity as the Additional Director General (Vigilance) had through a letter dated 23.02.99 suggested to the then Vigilance Commissioner and Chief Secretary a CBI probe into  medical colleges of the state.

The vigilance commissioner and chief secretary agreed to the suggestion of Ojha and wrote a letter to Chief Minister Rabri Devi on 16.3.99 following which Rabri Devi on 25.3.99 recommended handing over the probe to the CBI keeping in view the extensive scale on which an alleged racket was going on.

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Ojha, when contacted by PTI about why the CBI did not take up the case, said the investigative agency pleaded preoccupation with an overwhelmingly large number of cases on its hands as an excuse.

In his letter, a copy of which is in the possession of PTI, Ojha said the mafia involved in securing admissions in MBBS and post-graduate medical courses had close association with eminent doctors and other powerful persons.

Nearly 60 per cent seats in MBBS and PG courses are sold off for monetary consideration, which ranges from Rs 500,000 to one million and five per cent of seats are offered to the wards of people in high position free of cost, the letter said.

It said the gang also took contracts involving Rs 500,000 to 700,000 to enable weak medical students pass MBBS examination after they had secured admission and charged up to Rs one million for admission to PG courses in important streams like medicine and orthopaedics.

A very organised network exists in all medical colleges and health and medical education department, which assists the mafia in its nefarious undertaking, the letter said elaborating on the modus operandi of the racket.

Well in advance of every Combined Medical Education Entrance Test (CMEET), the gangs searched for talented scouts, who were good students studying in first or second year of the MBBS and their services were utilised to find out candidates interested in pursuing a career in medical profession and were ready to pay.

The mafia spent a handsome amount on the talented scouts and promised to secure good marks for them in MBBS exams, a promise they almost always kept.

Some of these talented scouts who also impersonated for those seeking admission to MBBS course in the CMEET were codenamed 'engine' and were given housing and other facilities 2-3 months ahead of the test and then these 'engines' appeared for admission test in place of weak candidates who were called 'bogies'.

Similarly, in respect of admission to post graduate courses, doctors who had completed their PG some time ago were chosen as 'engines'.

For this exercise to go on smoothly, the photograph of 'engine' was affixed to the admit card which was replaced with the picture of the bogie after the exam with the help of centre superintendents, the letter said.

Another method applied by the mafia was that though the 'engine' and the 'bogie' filled examination forms separately, they submitted it together so that their roll numbers were one after the other and they were seated next to each other.

In the examination hall, they exchanged the answer sheets with the 'engine' writing the paper for the 'bogie'. Naturally, the name and address of the 'engine' mentioned while filling the examination form was fake.

In case the 'bogie' failed, next time a better 'engine' was used.

Apart from these two methods, the mafia also managed admission for their clients by manipulating the final results by tampering with the computer system.

Speaking to PTI Ojha said the case was handed over to the vigilance department in 1998 on the recommendation of the health department, which detected some irregularities in conduct of the admission test for MBBS courses in the state's medical colleges.

During the investigation the vigilance department came to know about the modus operandi of the gang, which was allegedly headed by one Dr Z Khan, proprietor of a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company and one time doctor at the Nalanda medical college and hospital, Patna, whose wife was also a doctor.

Ranjit, he alleged, began his career in fraud under his tutelage but it seems he later graduated into a bigger scams.

Unfortunately, Ojha said, the vigilance sleuths could not prosecute the scamsters due to lack of concrete evidence.

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