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BIEK office raided, thousands of papers seized by anti-graft body

Updated February 23, 2019

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The Sindh Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team raided the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) office on Friday. — AFP/File
The Sindh Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team raided the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) office on Friday. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team raided the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) office on Friday and grilled over a dozen of its employees and took away, after an eight-hour search, thousands of copies of 2018 annual examinations and other records at the facility, sources and officials said.

They added that a team of ACE (West) raided the BIEK in the first half of the day and sealed the entry and exit points of the building.

The action from the anti-corruption department, the sources said, came after the BIEK administration had failed to respond positively to repeated requests of the anti-graft body seeking record of copies of 2018 annual examinations on complaints that results of a large number of students were tampered with during scrutiny.

“The anti-corruption department has received complaints from different sources that results of hundreds of students were changed [in their favour] during scrutiny process,” said an official. “Acting on complaints, the [department] following the process approached the BIEK authorities and sought record of copies and other relevant documents to initiate the process. However, despite repeated letters from the department to the board’s high-ups there was no response which ultimately led to the raid on Friday afternoon.”

The ACE raid on the BIEK office came as a second in less than three years as in August 2016 the provincial watchdog had raided the board office building and seized record to probe into alleged corruption in intermediate examinations.

After the initial probe into the previous complaints, the ACE had booked the BIEK examinations controller and its former chairman and charged them with wrongdoing and malpractices worth millions of rupees.

The fresh inquiry, the officials added, was different in nature as it was related to tampering with the results during scrutiny process in favour of those students who “actually” had failed to clear their examination in first attempt.

There were complaints that the BIEK officials were “involved” in tampering with the original results of hundreds of students, who appeared in 2018 annual examinations but couldn’t make it and managed to get “favour from board officials against illegal means”.

“Under the due process and practice, the BIEK disposes of all answer sheets or copies after every few months,” said the official.

“The [ACE] has however barred the BIEK from any such action till the investigation into the case is completed. The inquiry involves results of students of three groups — pre-engineering, pre-medical and commerce. The BIEK officials have been conveyed to cooperate with the [ACE] officials for quick and transparent inquiry. There has been no arrest as the inquiry is in a very early phase. Things would be clearer in the next few days,” the official concluded.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019