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Vyapam Scam: Candidates 'Lied' Middlemen Were Dead

New Delhi: The CBI suspects there were over 90 instances in the Vyapam scam wherein candidates lied that the middlemen, who hired examinees to appear on their behalf, were dead.

It is alleged that a large number of bright students were hired by the candidates to take the medical entrance examination conducted by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board known as Vyapam, CBI sources said.

Giving details of the modus operandi, the sources said the candidates were approached by middlemen who engaged other middlemen to identify bright students in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Delhi and Rajasthan who could impersonate those taking the medical entrance examinations.

The strategy was such that the candidate did not know the second middlemen or the impersonator, they said.

In large number of cases, the photographs in online forms submitted by the candidates were allegedly morphed in a way to match with the impersonator who was supposed to take the entrance examination on the payment of a fee, they said.

When the scam surfaced, candidates were asked to give names of poor people who were dead as the middlemen, the sources said.

This was allegedly done to cover the tracks so that police cannot reach the actual middlemen and the examinee who appeared on behalf of such candidates in the examination.

When the CBI took over the probe in the matter, it suspected that in about 96 cases, candidates and the middlemen were lying prompting them to undergo lie detector tests, the sources said.

They said the candidates and middlemen who refused to undergo the test were put under psychological assessment test (PAT) for which their permission or that of the court is not required.

The agency has so far carried out such tests in 96 cases thus prompting majority of the candidates and the middlemen to tell the truth and identify the real persons, the CBI sources said.

The 48 reports received by the agency from the CFSL show that 40 such candidates have spoken truth while eight remained deceitful, they said.

The agency has also identified 121 impersonators using an advanced facial recognition software from the database of Vyapam in which morphed pictures were used.

On a different front, the CBI also developed a database of over 9.5 lakh students who were studying in coaching and medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Maharashtra, the sources said.

This was done to identify about 300 impersonators only on the basis of scanned pictures which were allegedly morphed to match the impersonators and used in the online forms submitted by the candidates in the Vyapam database, they said.

The sources said the agency deployed a high-end software which uses artificial intelligence and anthropometric principles (measurement of the human features) to identify real pictures disguised in morphed ones.

Through this method, the CBI managed to identify 121 impersonators as well who have been asked to join the investigation of the massive scam which proved embarrassment for the state government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The figure is likely to increase as the exercise of matching photographs is on.

The agency has registered 170 FIRs in which 74 final reports (charge sheets and closures) have been filed, while 96 are under investigation.

First Published: February 26, 2017, 1:07 PM IST