Matric exams: Sindh govt imposes Section 144 to control paper leaks


KARACHI: The Sindh government on Wednesday imposed Section 144 outside exam centres, giving power to Station House Officers (SHOs) to register complaints and take actions against those who violate the law.

The step was taken after physics and mathematics matric papers were leaked in Karachi on Tuesday and Wednesday, triggering an outcry and putting the mechanism to keep cheating in check, under more scrutiny. 

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Qazi Shahid Pervez said, in a notification, that universities and board departments of the Government of Sindh have conveyed that various educational boards have approached them to seek help in peaceful conduct of the SSC part I and II and the HSSC part I and II annual exams. 

Pervez said the universities and board departments requested imposition of Section 144 outside exam centres to bring the situation under control. 

“The Government of Sindh is satisfied that in order to conduct examinations in a fair and peaceful manner, and maintain the sanctity of examination premises during the examination, it is expedient to take necessary measures,” reads the notification.

“Now, therefore, the Government of Sindh, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 144(6) of the CrPC, hereby declares all the premises of examination centres for the above-mentioned examinations under their respective educational boards, restricted areas for the general public,” stated the notification. 

It added that only “candidates bearing valid admit cards as well as the staff on duty” will be allowed at the examination centres, adding that opening photostat machines around exam centres has been prohibited.  The notification has also banned the use of mobile phones in exam centres till the exams are being held. 

Mathematics paper leaked

Despite assurances from education authorities to enhance the security and distribution mechanism of question papers, the mathematics questionnaire leaked too before the start of the paper on Wednesday.

The exam was scheduled to start at 9:30am but the question paper was available 30 mins earlier.

Tuesday, eyebrows were raised when the physics paper was leaked on social media.

Following the mismanagement and chaos during the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual Examination 2021, the Sindh government had taken strong notice and summoned the controller examination of Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) who assured Adviser Nisar Khoro of taking corrective measures.

BSEK chief suspects CCOs had a role in paper leaks

Earlier on Monday, BESK Chairman Syed Sharaf Ali Shah suspected that the central control officers (CCOs) had a hand in the controversy surrounding the paper leak and delay in the delivery of the questionnaire.

Speaking to Geo News anchor Shahzeb Khanzada on his programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, Shah had said it was the primary responsibility of CCOs to distribute the papers to the exam centres.

“The CCOs did not arrive (at the hub) to collect exam papers,” said the matric board chairperson. “The delay was caused when the board’s staff, due to the CCOs absence, delivered the papers to the examination centres,” he had told the anchor.

Shah had said it seemed as if the CCOs were involved in the conspiracy, adding that they will no longer be performing this duty.

“The CCOs orders have been cancelled. Now, the superintendents will collect papers from the hubs and deliver them to the exam centres,” he had said.

Shah had said the board has also increased the number of hubs from 11 to 18 to ensure timely delivery of the papers from now on.

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