Russian national Mikhail Shargen, who was arrested for allegedly hacking the JEE examination software, got bail from a special court on November 2. According to the CBI, Shargen had benefited over 800 aspirants by hacking the software.
The 25-year-old, who was arrested by the CBI on October 3, allegedly tempered the iLeon software and helped other accused in hacking the computer systems of suspect candidates during the JEE examination. iLeon software is the platform on which NTA conducted the JEE (Main) 2021.
According to the officials, the special CBI court noted that all other co-accused in the case, including those who directly contacted the candidates and their parents to seek money and documents, were given bail.
The court rejected the CBI's argument that Shargen's involvement in the software hacking made his role in the case distinct from those of the other suspects.
The special court also rejected the CBI's claim that some mobile chats between the petitioner and applicants with co-accused were found during the inquiry.
"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 court said while allowing the bail application.
The special court allowed Mikhail Shargen with bail conditions and personal surety of Rs 1 lakh. The CBI arrested him on October 3 upon arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from Almaty, Kazakhstan.
In September 2021, three directors of Affinity Education Pvt Ltd - Siddharth Krishna, Vishwambhar Mani Tripathi and Govind Varshney and other associates were arrested by the CBI for alleged manipulation of the JEE exam. The CBI alleged that the three directors and other associates were manipulating the JEE (Mains) online exam and helping selected students get admission to the top National Institute of Technology in exchange for money. These accused persons used to solve the question from a chosen examination centre in Sonepat (Haryana).