ICAI CA Exam Paper Leak Case: Delhi Court convicts Three Accused Persons

Delhi Court has convicted accused persons Bhawna Malik and Diksha Dhingra of the offense punishable under Section 420 IPC and Bhawna Malik, Diksha Dhingra, and Sudesh Kumar for an offense punishable under Section 120B IPC in the matter of leaking question papers of CA-CPT exam

CA Study Notes

After 15 years of legal battle, the Delhi Court has finally convicted three persons accused of leakage of question papers of the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) conducted by ICAI in the year 2007.

For the first time in 57 years, question papers of the Common Proficiency Test (CPT), the first level of examination for the Chartered Accountancy (CA) course were leaked on Sunday. The paper leak was exposed during a TV sting operation. The exams were scheduled from 9-11 am and from 12.30-2.30 pm but all hell broke loose when the channel flashed the exam paper at 8.45 am in New Delhi.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) conducts various exams and one such exam Common Proficiency Test (CPT) was to be conducted on 05.08.2007 across India. One center no. 44 was DAV Public School, West Patel Nagar, New Delhi, and even before the morning session examination at 9 AM was conducted, a sting operation was aired on India TV News channel, that their team of the investigative journalist had gone to unearth leak of the exam on the intervening night of 4-5th August 2007.

The ICAI under Chairmanship of G. Soma Shekher sent representative to ascertain the facts from India TV News Channel and upon finding material of paper leak, lodged the present FIR. Investigation was carried out and considering the gravity of the same, investigation was taken up by the Crime Branch department. From detailed investigation, School Principal Bhawna Malik, Centre Superintendent Diksha Dhingra were found to have conspired with accused Sudesh Kumar and Satish Kumar Singh to cheat the ICAI as well as thousands of aspirants by opening seal of question paper delivered to DAV Public School on 30th July 2007 and having distributed papers to few aspirants in return of money.

The Court held that ingredients of Section 420 IPC are established. Accused Bhawna while appointing accused Diksha induced ICAI to believe she was capable and willing to work as Centre Superintendent. Both accused Diksha and accused Bhawna further dishonestly induced ICAI to deliver the attendance sheet of centre no.44, question papers of CA-CPT exam. Since all accused persons premeditated to leak the question paper, the said fact if known to ICAI, would not have continued keeping DAV Public School as its centre no. 44.

The ICAI, due to actions of the accused persons, had to cancel the examination held on 05.08.2007 and conduct a fresh examination. The ingredients thus of cheating are fulfilled. As against accused Sudesh, he criminally conspired to carry out the above object and towards the said object, accused Sudesh committed overt acts such as receiving attendance sheets and question papers, making photocopies of the same, providing answers, and selling the same for wrongful gains. Accused Bhawna and Diksha have cheated ICAI as well as thousands of students. Accused Sudesh have criminal conspired with other accused persons to accomplish the illegal object.

After considering all the evidences and submissions from both sides, the Court concluded that the prosecution has thus been able to establish that accused persons Sudesh, Bhawna and Diksha were in contact much prior to examination which was something they tried to hide.

“Accused Sudesh and accused Satish leaked the said papers with handwritten answers and on 04.08.2007 they were captured by India TV news channel in their sting operation. Each of the above fact have been exclusively and conclusively proven by the prosecution by convincing evidence. The evidence presented by the prosecution further negates innocence of each of the accused. Based on the same evidence forming part of the chargesheet accused Satish Kumar Singh pleaded guilty and absconded after he was sentenced by this Court,” the Court said.

Noting that the prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt, the Court convicted accused persons Bhawna Malik and Diksha Dhingra of the offence punishable under Section 420 IPC. Further, accused persons Bhawna Malik, Diksha Dhingra and Sudesh Kumar were also convicted of the offence punishable under Section 120B IPC.

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