Russian ‘hacker’ who manipulated JEE last year gets bail

Russian ‘hacker’ who manipulated JEE last year gets bail

Mikhail Shargen, a Russian national, who was arrested by the CBI on suspicion of hacking the JEE exam software, which benefited over 800 candidates, has been granted bail by a special court.

Shargen, 25, was apprehended on October 3 was accused of hacking the computer systems of suspected candidates during the JEE (Main)-2021 exam and tampering with the iLeon software, which was the platform for the exam.

According to the officials, the special CBI court noted that all other co-accused in the case were granted bail, including those who, among other things, directly contacted the candidates and their parents to obtain money and documents.

The court rejected the CBI’s arguments that Shargen’s involvement in hacking the software was not comparable to that of other suspects.

The CBI’s claim that certain mobile conversations between the applicant and the accused with co-accused have been uncovered during the investigation was also rejected by the special court.

“Merely because the applicant is a foreign national, he cannot be denied the benefit of bail, more particularly when his passport has already been seized by the investigating agency,” the special court recently said while allowing the bail application.

The court granted Shargen bail with conditions and a personal surety of one lakh rupees.

On October 3, Shargen was stopped at the Indira Gandhi International Airport upon his arrival from Almaty, Kazakhstan.

In September last year, the agency had booked Affinity Education Pvt Ltd and its three directors Siddharth Krishna, Vishwambhar Mani Tripathi and Govind Varshney, other than different promoters and associates for supposed control of the assessment.

It was alleged that the three directors, along with other associates and touts, were conspiring to manipulate the online JEE (Mains) exam and facilitating aspiring students’ admission to prestigious National Institutes of Technology in exchange for substantial financial compensation.

They used to solve the questions through remote access from a chosen examination centre in Sonepat, Haryana.

“It was also alleged that the accused used to obtain Classes 10 and 12 mark sheets, user IDs, passwords, and post-dated cheques of aspiring students in different parts of the country as security and once admission was done, they used to collect heavy amount ranging from 12-15 lakh approx per candidate,” the CBI had said.

With inputs from PTI

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Author: Shirley