Several examinees told bdnews24.com that they have seen several others taking the test bringing in written notes for copying, made possible by wayward invigilators.
The examinees carried mobile phones with them despite a ban on their use at examination centres.
Some aspirants said on the condition of anonymity that question papers were distributed before time on some occasions and ‘proxies’ wrote answer scripts for those taking the exams.
A leading figure in the nation’s judiciary who was approached by these whistle-blowers was appalled. “How will they try criminals? How can such people take over the reins of the judiciary? This will be a disaster for the country.”
Asfaqur Rahman, controller of exams in the Judicial Service Commission, dismissed the allegations as sheer concoctions. “These are bogus charges, totally fabricated.”
Eden Women’s College is the venue for the judicial service exams
He, however, admitted that the commission had received such complaints before as well.
Earlier, the Public Service Commission used to recruit assistant judges through tests held as part of the BCS examination.
But the Judicial Service Commission was formed in 2007 after the executive and the judiciary were bifurcated.
This year, 1,496 candidates are appearing in the exam being held at the Eden Women’s College in capital Dhaka. It is scheduled to be over by May 2.
“The examinees are being allowed to enter the examination centre without their admission cards being checked.
“There is no one to ensure that all those who are sitting for the test are genuine candidates.
“And the answer scripts are being distributed by the college employees,” said a candidate, refusing to be named.
Another aspirant said there was no one to prevent mobile phones being taken into the exam hall despite clear rules barring the gadget.
“A friend of mine is taking the test in Room No. 302. He invariably carries his smart phone with him. It has everything loaded to help him cheat,” said the candidate.
An examinee in Room No. 203 said a fellow candidate carried home, hidden beneath his shirt, some extra answer sheets during the test on criminal law.
Two days later, he smuggled them back into the hall with vital notes written on them while appearing for a paper on constitutional law.
“The invigilators pretend not to see. The extra answer sheets make cheating possible.”
He said each room, in which more than a hundred candidates take the test, has only three women invigilators.
When asked, Asfaqur Rahman said teachers of the Eden College were functioning as invigilators. No magistrate was posted there, though Judicial Service Commission officials inspected the examination centre.
A candidate said several examinees were being allowed to go to the toilet together instead of being let out one by one, thus letting them have answers relayed over mobile phones.
“Many examinees are flouting the seating plan to choose the place convenient for them. The teachers ignore all as they don’t want to invite trouble,” he added.
Asfaqur Rahman admits to receiving such complaints.
“We understand that women teachers are afraid to take action. But they are doing their job diligently,” he told bdnews24.com.
More than one candidate testified to examinees going through the question papers, fished out of unsealed packets, well ahead of the starting time for the test.
One of them said question papers on ‘Bangladesh and the International Law’ were distributed at least five minutes before the exam started.
He suspected that the questions had leaked outside before the exam got under way.
Tipped off about the irregularities, a bdnews24.com reporter and photographer reached the examination centre on Apr 27, the day slated for a test on ‘contract and tort’.
Eden College Principal Hossain Ara refused to let them in, saying she was unable to give permission as it was Judicial Service Commission exam.
She also categorically denied there were irregularities or instances of copying.
A few of the candidates, however, admitted to bdnews24.com that they had their mobile phones with them through the test they had appeared in that day.
“The candidates are daily entering with their mobile phones, copying is also rampant,” said one of them.
But Asfaqur insisted that the examinees were not allowed to enter with the phones. “Each one of them is body searched before being allowed in.”
He, however, said one person had been expelled after being caught appearing for a candidate in the ‘general English’ test.
Those who had cleared the 100-mark preliminary test on Sep 12 last year are taking the current, and more elaborate, exam for appointment as judges.
This 1000-mark examination tests the candidates’ knowledge of various aspects of civil, criminal and constitutional law besides their proficiency in Bengali, and grasp of general science.
Those who pass this exam will have one final hurdle to clear – a 100-mark viva-voce – before they are inducted into the hallowed world of the judicial service.
Source: BD news