Pre-university students who get caught buying, selling or transferring leaked question papers will be barred from taking examinations for five years along with facing a fine of Rs 5 lakh. Similarly, teachers or public servants facilitating malpractices may be jailed and slapped with a criminal case.
In the five-day legislature session starting on Monday, the Karnataka government is set to introduce a Bill to declare question paper leak a criminal offence. This comes against the backdrop of a major fiasco over the second-year PU chemistry paper leak twice last year, which had put lakhs of students in jeopardy.
Department of Pre-University Education director C Shikha said the Bill seeks to incorporate and define paper leak in the Karnataka Education Act of 1983 and introduce a punishment clause for those who indulge in malpractices.
“Until now, students and teachers indulging in paper leaks got away as there was no mention of paper leak in the Act. It was not an offence, either. With the introduction of stringent punishments, we are hoping there would be no repeat of question paper leaks and malpractices in PU examinations from now,” she added.
Interestingly, those who leak question papers through WhatsApp or other social media avenues will be treated “like criminals and they will be dealt with accordingly,” the draft Bill says. It promises punishment for those associated with the question paper leak: Parents, guardians, siblings, friends and photo-copy shop owners. The government decided to introduce the Bill in this legislature session after a committee headed by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister TB Jayachandra approved the amendments last week.
Department officials said students found copying will be barred from appearing for examinations up to three years, depending on the nature of malpractice. The Bill will define the punishment categories. Impersonation – the most common malpractice – carries a punishment of three-year or six-consecutive-examination ban. Also, the institution that facilitates copying will be derecognised for three years.
There are numerous instances in the past where institutions and teachers have willingly allowed students to copy in examinations to ensure their institution get better results.”The proposed Bill may end such practices,” an official said.