The fate of 516 SSC students, whose answer-sheets were stolen from an evaluation centre last month, continues to hang in the balance as the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) is yet to decide how it will evaluate them.

On April 4, four days after the board exams ended, 516 answer-sheets were stolen from an evaluation centre at Isra Vidyalaya in Dahisar. Following a complaint, the police arrested two persons who had stolen the sheets to sell it to a scrap dealer. Around 300 answer-sheets were recovered from where the duo had dumped them.

The identities of the 516 students whose answer-sheets were stolen, have, however, not been revealed by the board as a result of which, students are not aware if the papers that were stolen were theirs.

However, with less than a month left to declare Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) results, the state board is awaiting possession of the recovered answer-sheets. It has now decided to move court.

“We have been trying to get possession of the recovered answer-sheets and get them corrected at the earliest. However, they are still with the Dahisar police,” said S Y Chandekar, secretary, Mumbai division of MSBSHSE. “We will move the Bombay High Court for possession of the answer-sheets. A letter to this effect has been issued to the principal of Isra Vidyalaya, who will file the motion,” he said.

Senior inspector of Dahisar police station Subhash Sawant said that the team had so far recovered 330 answer-sheets, all of which were in the possession of the police. “The board will have to seek possession through the court. Once there is a decision, we will duly hand it over to the board,” said Sawant.

Meanwhile, the board is yet to decide on how to mark the students whose answer-sheets may not be recovered. Chandekar said that MSBSHSE was hopeful that the rest of the stolen answer-sheets will be recovered. If unrecovered, the board may allot the average of the marks scored in the remaining subjects for the subject where answer-sheets are missing.

“We will wait until a couple of days before the declaration of result. If the sheets are recovered, we will correct and mark students accordingly. For those whose papers are not recovered, a policy decision will be taken at the time,” said Chandekar.

Senior inspector Sawant, however, said that the chances of finding any more papers were bleak. “The last paper was recovered on April 16. We haven’t found any more papers from where the accused duo had dumped them,” said Sawant adding that a team was investigating the matter further.