Two of the accused in the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) examination malpractice case surrendered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. Second accused P Pranav, a member of the Studentâ€™s Federation of India (SFI) and Safeer, the fourth accused in the case, were remanded to judicial custody till September 20.
Pranav, along with Sivaranjith and AN Naseem, who were also SFI unit members of the Thiruvananthapuram University College, were found to have engaged in malpractice during the PSC examinations held last year, in which all three obtained top ranks.
Questions were raised regarding the irregularities in the PSC examinations after bundles of Kerala University answer sheets were seized by the police from the house of Sivaranjit. His house was searched as he is the main accused in the stabbing case of Akhil, an undergraduate student at the University College. After the answer sheets had been seized, it was found that the three were also rank holders in the PSC examinations, which raised eyebrows.
Safeer has been accused of providing answers to the students through text messages at the time of the examination.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, both Pranav and Safeer were in hiding and the state police had been planning to issue a lookout notice for the two of them. The report stated that the duo, on reaching the premises of the court in Vanchiyoor, dashed into court to avoid arrest.
The Kerala High Court had on August 30 rejected an anticipatory bail petition filed by Safeer and stated that a wider investigation into the discrepancies was necessary and for that, it is necessary to interrogate all the accused in the case.
The court also pointed out that Sivaranjith, the first accused in the case, had received 94 text messages from Safeer during the time of the examination. By stating that the prosecution could not find out as to how Safeer and the 5th accused Gokul could collect the questions and answers, the HC observed that custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary for the progress of the investigation of the case.
Also read: Kerala HC seeks wider investigation into PSC exam malpractice controversy