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Centre notifies stringent anti-paper leak law amid exam mess; accused to face jail term, fine up to a crore
Photo Courtesy: PIB

Centre notifies stringent anti-paper leak law amid exam mess; accused to face jail term, fine up to a crore

| @indiablooms | 22 Jun 2024, 01:11 am

New Delhi/IBNS: In an important step amid the controversies surrounding the NEET and UGC-NET exams, the Centre has notified a stringent law that was passed in February to prevent question paper leaks and cheating.

The notification of the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, comes just a day after Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was asked about when it would be implemented. The minister had said the law ministry was framing the rules.

Under the Act, any person found guilty of leaking a paper or tampering with answer sheets will receive a minimum jail term of three years. This can be extended to five years with a fine of up to Rs. 10 lakh.

Examination service providers who have knowledge about a possible offence but do not report it can be fined up to Rs. 1 crore.

During the investigation, if it is established that any senior official from the service provider had allowed or was involved in committing the offence, he will face imprisonment for a minimum of three years, which can go up to 10 years, and a fine of Rs. 1 crore.

If the examination authority or the service provider commits an organised crime, the jail term will be a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10, and the fine will remain Rs. 1 crore.

The notification mentions the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita but adds that the provisions of the Indian Penal Code will remain in effect until it is implemented. The Sanhita and the other criminal laws are scheduled to come into effect on July 1.

The Central Bureau of Investigation registered a First Information Report (FIR) into the UGC-NET paper leak case on Thursday against unidentified persons on a reference from the Union Education Ministry, media reports said.

The UGC-NET, 2024, exam for the selection of junior research fellows, assistant professors and PhD scholars was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on June 18 in two shifts across the country.

The next day, the University Grants Commission received inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre that the paper was leaked online and was allegedly being sold for Rs. 5-6 lakh on messaging platforms, media reports said.

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