Impersonation is nothing new to IIT-JEE. Way back in 2000, the son of a senior faculty member, who later became director of IIT-Kharagpur and even chairperson of the Joint Admission Board (JAB), was caught red-handed impersonating.
Sitesh Dube was studying in IIT-Delhi, while his father Sishir Kumar Dube was then a professor in the Centre of Atmospheric Science in the premier institute. Also, IIT-Delhi had organised the JEE that year.
However, unlike the present case -- where the Patna police have busted a racket in which engineering graduates and B.Tech students resorted to impersonation to make a fast buck -- Dube junior never faced criminal charges as the police were not even informed. He was only suspended for three years (six semesters).
The disciplinary committee consisted of the then IIT-Delhi director, V S Raju, and other deans of the faculty. Of the disciplinary panel members, Surendra Prasad and Prem Vrat went on to become IIT directors.
Later, IIT-Delhi, in reply to an RTI query, said Dube junior did not confess to his crime till the institute representative and flying squad members grilled him extensively.
Investigations revealed that not only were there discrepancies in the signatures but Dube junior's statement regarding the dress code was at odds with that of the invigilitators, flying squad members and Kushal Sen, vice-chairman of JEE. Sen was specifically sent to the examination centre by the JEE chairman to look into the case.
Incidentally, Dube senior became JAB chairman in August 2005 and IIT-Kharagpur organised the JEE next year. Once he became the director of IIT-Kharagpur, he used his discretionary quota to grant admission to the son of V K Tewari, an IIT professor. The IITs have since then scrapped the discretionary quota.
Later, Dube senior appointed Tewari as the organizing chairperson of the 2006 JEE.
The RTI query also revealed that the 2006 JEE was mired in several controversies such as irregularities in the subject cut-offs. For instance, general category candidates, who scored as high as 279, had to make way for those who scored only 154. The RTI response found that 994 high-scoring candidates were overlooked for the same number of low-scoring ones.