TSPSC paper leak case: ED gets custody of 2 key accused, to quiz them on hawala transactions

A court granted the ED 2-day custody of key accused Praveen and Rajasekhar; they will be quizzed in Chanchalguda prison.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 16, 2023 | 12:51 PMUpdatedApr 16, 2023 | 12:51 PM

Hyderabad police to probe new allegations of paper leak kingpin Praveen Kumar. Case shifted to SIT

With the Enforcement Directorate (ED) getting custody of the two prime accused  — Praveen and Rajasekhar — in the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) question paper leak case, the agency is set to grill them about the alleged involvement of influential persons in the matter.

The central agency, often accused of targeting Opposition leaders, is also probing money laundering charges in the case.

Both Praveen and Rajasekhar were arrested by the Hyderabad police in connection with the case, which was later taken over by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Related: Congress seeks ED probe into the role of KTR

Court grants custody

A local court in Hyderabad on Saturday, 15 April, granted the ED two-day custody of Praveen and Rajasekhar in response to a petition filed by the agency.

The custody would enable the ED officials to question them on 17 and 18 April at Chanchalguda prison where they are in judicial remand.

The information collected from the TSPSC confidential section room in-charge Shankara Lakshmi when she appeared before the ED at its office in Basheerbagh two days ago would help the ED to get more details.

The ED officials grilled her for over 10 hours and collected information on the process of examination. They also collected her Aadhar and PAN card details.

As per provisions of Section 50 CrPc, the ED recorded the statement of Lakshmi. The ED has taken up the investigation based on the FIR issued by the Hyderabad police.

Related: ED summons 2 officials, seeks to quiz 2 key accused

The ED investigation

The ED registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) on 31 March in connection with the question paper leak case.

It started investigating money laundering charges in the case following allegations that those who leaked the question paper got money through hawala channels.

After the SIT issued notices to him, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy appeared before investigators and shared information.

Telangana BJP State president Bandi Sanjay also got a notice, but a legal team on his behalf appeared before the SIT.

In all, 17 people, including employees of TSPSC, apart from Praveen and Rajasekhar, were arrested since 13 March over their alleged involvement in the case.

The case created sensation in the state with the BJP and Congress blaming the BRS government for the episode that affected as many as 30 lakh unemployed youth in Telangana.

Also read: Fee waived for those reappearing in cancelled TSPSC exams

Exam rescheduled for May

The TSPSC on 29 March announced fresh dates for the Assistant Executive Engineer (AE) exam at the heart of the question paper leak case.

The three-day AEE exam has been now scheduled for 8, 9 and 21 May.

While the Electrical and Electronics Engineering exam will be held on 8 May, Agriculture Engineering is scheduled for the next day, 9 May. Both exams will happen in online mode.

On 21 May, the Civil Engineering exam will be conducted on Optical Mark Recognition, or OMR, sheets. In September last year, the TSPSC announced recruitment to 837 vacancies.

The TSPSC AE exam was earlier scheduled on 5 March before the commission cancelled it following the paper leak.