2 TSPSC employees, cop, schoolteacher among 9 arrested in question paper leak case

The cops seized four pen drives, three laptops, a desktop, seven mobile phones, and an Apple iPad in connection with the case.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Mar 14, 2023 | 1:13 AMUpdatedMar 14, 2023 | 6:00 PM

2 more including a Junior Panchayat Secretary arrested in the TSPSC paper leak

The Hyderabad City Police on Monday, 13 March, arrested nine people over allegations of leaking a Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) question paper for the post of “town planning building overseer”.

Those arrested include two employees of the TSPSC and a police constable.

The exam, which was scheduled to be held on 12 March, was cancelled on Saturday by the TSPSC a day earlier.

The TSPSC veterinary assistant surgeon examination, scheduled to be held on 15 and 16 March, has also been postponed.

In the complaint to the Begum Bazar police, TSPSC Administration Department Assistant Secretary Anita Ramachandran said that the two of its employees hacked into her system to access the question paper.

Meanwhile, the cops seized four pen drives, three laptops, a desktop, seven mobile phones, and an Apple iPad in connection with the case.

Modus operandi and motive

The police said that Praveen Kumar, who was an employee of the TSPSC since 2017, stole data from the confidential computer of the IT Department with the help of Raj Shekhar Reddy.

“Then they transferred the data to Praveen Kumar’s pen drive and took a printout of the (civil) exam paper and general studies paper,” the cops claimed.

For ₹5 lakh, they handed over the paper to Renuka and Dhakya on 2 March.

“Another ₹5 lakh was handed over to Praveen Kumar on 6 March after the exam was conducted,” the cops said.

As per reports, Praveen and Renuka knew each other for a long time. The latter sought the help of Praveen because she needed the paper for a relative appearing for the exam.

Also read: Karnataka Police arrest 9 in KPTCL exam paper leak case

Who are the accused?

The kingpin of the TSPSC paper leak was identified as Pulidindi Praveen Kumar, an assistant section officer (ASO) at the commission.

TSPSC paper leak

Police briefing on TSPSC paper leak. (Supplied)

Next was the IT wing employee of the commission, Atla Raja Shekhar Reddy.

A schoolteacher of Hindi subject was also arrested along with a police constable with the Medchal Police Station.

The rest of the five arrested accused are Lavdyavath Dhakya (technical assistant in the Vikarabad RD department), Kethavath Rajeshwar (farmer), K Neelesh Nayak (site engineer), Gopal Nayak (job aspirant), and K Rajender Nayak (a mason).

The cops have invoked IPC Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) and 120 (B) (party to criminal conspiracy) against them.

They have also been booked under the IT Act and the Prevention of Examinations Malpractices Act for stealing (data breach and leaking the question papers for monetary benefits).

Question paper shared ahead

The cops added that Rajeshwar Nayak, brother-in-law of Dhakya Nayak (A4), contacted his cousin and Police Constable K Srinivas.

He asked Srinivas to purchase the question paper as he was also writing various exams. But Srinivas refused to purchase the papers as he was focusing on sub-inspector recruitment,” the police said.

But Srinivas directed them to contact Nilesh Nayak and Gopal Nayak, who were appearing for the TSPSC exam.

“Rajeswhar Nayak contacted Neelesh Nayak (A6) and Gopal Nayak (A7) and took ₹13.50 lakh from them on assurance of providing the paper. They later confined the applicants to their residence and escorted them to the examination centre,” the cops claimed.

As promised, Dhakya Nayak (A4) and Rajaeshwar Nayak (A5) gave the AE (Civil) question paper to Neelesh Nayak and Gopal Nayak, said the cops.

Also read: CID arrests 8 candidates in Karnataka PSI recruitment scam