KARACHI: After the four-day-long search conducted by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) at the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi, (BIEK) against complaints of alteration in annual results of intermediate exams, the future of almost 98,640 science students is at stake.
According to BIEK chairperson Akhter Ghouri, the raid has led to not just a delay in the results’ announcement, but also put at risk the board’s database of 20-year-old computerised record. He alleged that the delay in results will be due to excessive use of the information technology (IT) server by ACE’s team while their visits in the past four days have affected the result preparing process. He feared that BIEK might lose all the data saved on its server due to ACE’s excessive use.
Meanwhile, ACE claims the raids were conducted on complaints that results were being tampered with by the board.
ACE chairperson Ghulam Qadir Thebo said they have collected strong evidences in 94 cases of moderating results from BIEK offices, adding that they will take strict action against culprits involved in playing with students’ future.
He also said that a junior clerk, Mohammad Adil Anwar, has been detained. Anwar used to work on daily wages and helped candidates seeking to bribe the board to change results and increase their numbers in specific subjects.
Thebo said allegations regarding delay in results were totally baseless as the ACE team had not checked the data of the engineering group students during the raid but BIEK had not released the results of the group on the due date, which was today (Friday).
According to the spokesperson of BIEK, the board was supposed to announce their pre-medical results on August 12 while pre-engineering results were scheduled to be announced a week later. However, due to the unnecessary hustle and bustle at the board office, the results cannot be announced on time and will be delayed for another 15 to 20 days. Ghouri said that if ACE had any information or complaints of results’ alteration, they should have contacted him or the controller instead of mishandling the staff. He said BIEK had cooperated in every way and ACE was given access to the IT section as well as to the script room so they do not face any hurdle.
Commenting on the tampering of results, BIEK examinations controller Imran Chishti said even though the results are not ready, they are in the final process. “The BIEK has a thorough process to remove errors and recheck results which takes a lot of time,” he said, adding that the process has been stopped since the raids.
Denying ACE’s allegations, the controller of examinations said if the board was involved in corruption, the pass percentages and results would have been far better than what the board has announced in the last few years.
Tampering with results
However, ACE director Nazar Muhammad Bozdar told The Express Tribune that the process of tampering with the results was done in two ways by the BIEK: one was the ‘gang handling external parties’ and another was handling the system internally.
The junior clerk who was arrested has given the data of 102 candidates whose results were changed from his personal laptop, he said, adding that they have also found evidence of banking transactions through mobile messages and have estimated that they were charging Rs35,000-Rs40,000 per paper for increase of marks. “The last transaction which we found was of Rs590,000,” he said.
Bozdar explained that the raid was conducted four days ago after receiving information of tampering with the results of 200 to 300 pre-medical students in tabulation sheets. “So far, we have found that there are 1,100 candidates out of the 21,000 students of pre-medical group whose results were changed,” he claimed.
Talking about the main culprit, Bozdar alleged deputy controller Muhammad Dabeer was involved in changing the results internally and all the transactions were done to him. “We have strong evidence against them,” he said. He added that they are checking the results manually from answer scripts and awarding lists and then rechecking them on BIEK’s IT server.
Clerk remanded to prison
The anti-corruption court remanded the BIEK clerk to prison on Friday on allegations of corruption.
The judge also issued a show-cause notice to the investigation officer for producing the suspect for remand after an inordinate delay.
ACE staff produced Anwar before the court and sought his custody for questioning.
Judge Gulshan Ara Chandio of the special provincial anti-corruption court came down hard on IO Jameel Ahmed Soomro for producing the suspect after an unnecessary delay. Issuing a show-cause notice to the IO, the court observed that the suspect was shown arrested during a raid at BIEK on August 9 and the IO was bound to produce him the following day. Meanwhile, the court also sent the suspect to prison on judicial remand.