Delhi Court Grants Bail to Russian Hacker Involved in 2021 JEE Paper Leak Case

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 03 November 2022 at 09:50 IST

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court recently granted bail to Russian national Mikhail Shargen, who is accused of being connected in the 2021 Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) scam case.

Mikhail cannot be granted bail merely because he is a foreign national, especially when the Central Bureau of Investigation has already taken his passport, according to Special Judge Dig Vinay Singh (CBI).

The judge noted that Mikhail has already spent nearly a month in detention and is therefore entitled to his release on bond. It further stated that all other co-accused have been given bail and that the investigation into the case is expected to take a while.

Mikhail was granted bail with the condition that he post a Rs. 1 lakh bond with two sureties.

Mikhail was taken into police custody on October 3 and detained there for seven days before being remanded to judicial custody.

The CBI claims that Mikhail tampered with the iLeon software used to administer the JEE Main exam in 2021 and assisted others in hacking the computers of suspect applicants during the test.

Advocates Rohit Bhardwaj and Shravanth Shanker, who were representing Mikhail, said that all 23 of the other co-accused who had been detained in this case had received bail.

The CBI resisted the bail petition on the grounds that Mikhail cannot be treated equally with his other co-accused because he was main participants in the software hack.

The investigating agency maintained that because Mikhail is a foreign citizen and might influence the witnesses and engage in similar offenses, if he is released on bond, he will not be available for trial.

In September last year, the agency had booked Affinity Education Pvt Ltd and its three directors Siddharth Krishna, Vishwambhar Mani Tripathi and Govind Varshney, besides other touts and associates for alleged manipulation of the examination.

It was alleged that the three directors, in conspiracy with other associates and touts, were manipulating the online examination of JEE (Mains) and facilitating aspiring students to get admission in top National Institutes of Technology in exchange for huge amounts of money. They used to solve the questions through remote access from a chosen examination centre in Sonepat (Haryana).

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