PESHAWAR: Advocate General (AG) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Javed admitted before Peshawar High Court (PHC) that a gang has been identified for malpractices during Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while argued that most of the members in gang are government servants, on Thursday.
AG disclosed it before PHC’s divisional bench comprised of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Arshad Ali during hearing of pleas against malpractices in the MDCAT while stating that the paper was out via Bluetooth devices from the examination centres.
The applicant pleaded that Rs3.5 million has been received for MDCAT candidates for securing high scores as per their choice, the writ argued. AG Barrister Amir Javed informed that as many as 46 thousand six hundred candidates in MDCAT while 17 hundred aspirants had obtained more than 90% marks which is an unprecedented hike in comparison with the previous year. He added that Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa personally monitoring the MDCAT issue.
Department of Home and Tribal Affairs has constituted Joint Investigation Team (JIT) under Additional Inspector General (AIG) Investigation, AG informed. He added that JIT has identified the gang led by Zafar Mehmood a public servant involved in the malpractices and argued they are using advanced techniques and technology for cheating.
AG Amir Javed further argued that the government is committed to the dissemination of justice for students and placing charges against culprits involved in the malpractices during MDCAT. In the meantime, Justice Arshad Ali inquired regarding findings of JIT report, however, AG argued that it is an initial report which is asserting that advanced technological devices were used for cheating during the MDCAT test.
AG stated that more than 200 First Information Reports (FIRs) are registered in this regard while competent court had granted bail to the alleged culprits involved in the malpractices. He argued that no one is above the law and that all culprits involved in the malpractices wouldn’t escape from accountability.
Unfortunately, several public servants are involved in the malpractices and more than 1100 students had obtained 90% marks while previously it stood at 117 candidates, AG informed. He added that malpractices are identified in 33 centers out 43 and added that Zafar Mehmood a public servant led the gang. AG assured that the government will implement court orders in this regard but Justice Syed Arshad Ali remarked that first provincial government will decide the matter then the court can decide the issue is the test may be rearranged or it can be settled in other way.
However, AG argued that if the test is rearranged then the candidates wouldn’t resubmit fees because the government is aware of the socio-economic status of students as they belong to poor families. He argued that fees wouldn’t be resubmitted to ensure the dissemination of student’s rights.
During hearing Executive Director Education and Testing Evaluation Authority (ETEA) Imtiaz Ayub requested to inform PHC regarding the authority status regarding MDCAT malpractices while the court allowed him for arguments.
Unfortunately, ETEA is questioned after the leaking of papers despite its good reputation but no one appreciates the authority as the candidates were caught before entrance to exam centres by four-layer security for MDCAT, Executive Director Imtiaz Ayub said. He added that the gang leader Zafar Mehmood is also identified by ETEA for his involvement in malpractices. Executive Director added that Zafar Mehmood has found guilty for his involvement in such malpractices earlier but obtained bails from competent court. He argued that holding tests is normal procedure for ETEA and added that Zafar Mehmood was serving Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission at the time of his first arrest.
Zafar Mehmood was terminated from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission then he is appointed as Assistant Director at the Federal Service Commission and now gang leader is suspended from services, ETEA Director stated. ETEA didn’t want that any student can face injustice but we have to look that intelligent candidate can’t suffer because they had secured high score due to their hard work, Imtiaz Ayub added. He added that a separate extra sheet is necessary for Physics questions because it can’t be solvable directly and added that a comparison of the section will solve the issue as it must be answered within the paper.
Executive Director informed that ETEA had informed the government in this regard and demanded jammers but to no veil. He added that arrest of such gangs and redressal of similar is necessary before questioning ETEA ability. PHC annoyed the lawyers’ attitude for laughing during court proceedings and observed that upheld court’s integrity otherwise they left the premises. PHC’s divisional bench comprised of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Arshad Ali ordered AG to inform court on JIT findings while adjourned further hearing till 27th September.