New ‘anti-paper leak’ law: Jail term, up to Rs 1 cr fine as punishments

New Delhi: Amid the controversies surrounding the NEET and UGC-NET exams, the Centre has notified the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, passed in February to prevent paper leaks and cheating.

The stringent law came into effect on Friday.

Under the law, any person or persons found guilty of leaking a paper or tampering with answer sheets will receive a minimum jail term of three years. This can be extended to five years with a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh. All offences under the Act will be cognisable and non-bailable.

As per the new law, examination service providers who have knowledge about a possible offence but do not report it can be fined up to Rs one crore.

During the investigation, if it is established that any senior official from the service provider had allowed or was involved in committing the offence, he will face imprisonment for a minimum of three years, which can go up to 10 years, and a fine of Rs 1 crore.

If the examination authority or the service provider commits an organised crime, the jail term will be a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10, and the fine will remain Rs 1 crore.

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 or the ‘anti-paper leak’ bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 5 and was passed a day later. The Rajya Sabha cleared the bill on February 9. President Droupadi Murmu approved the bill in the same month following which it became law.


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