The Tamil Nadu CB-CID, a special wing of the Crime Investigation Department, arrested H Omkanthan, a Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) Record clerk, for allegedly colluding with the prime suspect, Jayakumar, in the TNPSC Group 4 exam scam. The police have also revealed that the crime of altering answer sheets took place in a moving vehicle on the intervening night of September 1 and September 2, 2019.
According to reports, Jayakumar had approached Omkanthan, seeking help to access TNPSC answer scripts and had offered him a bribe of Rs 15 lakh. Allegedly, after receiving Rs 2 lakh as advance, Omkanthan agreed to help Jayakumar and managed to get himself posted in Ramanathapuram for exam duty on September 1.
Omkanthan was also allegedly part of the team that was in charge of transporting TNPSC answer sheets from Sivaganga treasury to the Chennai TNPSC office on the night of September 1. After the exams, the team started to Chennai with the answer scripts in a parcel van. Prime suspect Jayakumar followed the van on the highway. When the van stopped around 10.30 pm for dinner, Omkanthan allegedly gave the key to the safe that had the answer sheets to Jayakumar, so that the latter can take the sheets from the bundles. After taking the answer sheets, Jayakumar handed over the keys back to Omkanthan and they continued the journey to Chennai. While on the move, Jayakumar managed to alter the answers in the papers of those who had paid him. However, due to time constraints, he could tweak the answer papers of only 39 candidates. When the parcel van stopped at Vikravandi for tea around 5.30 am, Jayakumar replaced the answer sheets in the bundles, allegedly with Omkanthanās help, and fled. The answer paper van reached Chennai around noon on September 2.
The police are yet to arrest Jayakumar.
The TNPSC had recently confirmed irregularities in the Group 4 examinations conducted on September 1. Based on an internal probe conducted by the Commission, it debarred 99 candidates from writing TNPSC exams for life.
The TNPSC also released a revised rank list, replacing the names of the 39 rank holders who had allegedly indulged in malpractices in the exam. The Commission initiated the probe after candidates alleged that many examinees from Rameswaram and Keelakarai exam centres had secured the top 100 ranks, indicating foul play in the exams.