PTI leader Chohan given clean-chit in son’s 'grace marks' fiasco

RAWALPINDI: An enquiry committee, formed to look into ‘grace marks’ awarded to Punjab Minister on Colonies Fayyazul Hassan Chohan’s son Fahad in his intermediate examination allegedly on political pressure, has given the provincial minister a clean-chit in its report released on Monday.

The head-examiner of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi was instead held responsible for awarding 16 additional marks to Fahad Chohan in his Physics practical by the committee, which also recommended a departmental enquiry against him.

The enquiry, which was due to be completed in two days but stretched to ten, exonerated all the remaining individuals with possible involvement in the issue including BISE Rawalpindi chairman Ghulam Dastagir, apparently making the head-examiner the scapegoat.

However, a high level meeting of the intermediate board has decided not to implement the findings of the probe committee immediately and sought legal opinion of the board’s legal team on the matter.

One of the interesting factors of the enquiry is that the head-examiner is a senior professor at Degree College Chakwal while the chairman of investigation committee is the principal of the same college.

Sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that the board administration is not willing to reduce the ‘grace marks’ awarded to Fahad at any cost.

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In this regard, the spokesperson of BISE Rawalpindi, Arsalan Cheema said that the enquiry report had been sent to superiors for approval, as well as, to legal advisers for legal opinion. He maintained that the enquiry was impartial and devoid of any political pressure, adding that the student’s result would be released following approval from the authorities concerned.

Fayyazul Hassan Choahn, on the other hand, has claimed that he is rightly stand vindicated in the enquiry which was conducted on his directives. He said that since his son did not secured a top position in the board with the added marks and since he never wanted an admission in a medical college, he has not infringed rights of any fellow students.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader said the issue was being politicised due to his political association. “I have never met the board chairman and only came to know his name after this issue,” he added.

A tale of 16 ‘grace marks’

Fahad Chohan had obtained 769 marks in his intermediate exams, but the result of his physics paper was withheld after it emerged that his marks were increased from 14 to 30 in the same subject’s practical allegedly on political pressure exerted by his father.

Following the allegations, a probe committee was formed under Prof Dr Ghulam Muhammad Jhagra, Principal Chakwal Degree College, to probe into the matter and tasked to complete the inquiry in two days. However, the enquiry took ten days to complete.

According to the enquiry report, the assistant examiner, Prof Gul Ahmed Faraz, had failed Fahad in physics practical, giving him 14 marks out of 30. Later, allegedly owing to political pressure, BISE Rawalpindi head-examiner Prof Saleem Ramzan awarded full marks to Fahad after which the issue came in the limelight.

During the investigation, Prof Ahmed said marks were given purely on merit and refused to sign documents in which ‘grace marks’ were awarded to the student.

Interestingly, head-examiner Ramzan also claimed that he kept merit eminent during paper checking and he was not approached by anyone in this connection, adding that he never met the board chairman or the provincial minister.

Subsequently, the committee fixed all responsibility on the head-examiner and held him responsible for tempering, recommending a departmental inquiry against him.

When approached, sources in the examination board maintained that the student had originally obtained 30 marks and there was no concept of awarding ‘grace marks’, adding that the student would be given his report card with ‘original marks’ soon.

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