University of Mumbai Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh, currently at the centre of a controversy over the delay in results of final year students, has said a mix-up in answersheets caused by “a nexus” that benefited from malpractices was responsible for the delay.

Deshmukh made the allegations on Monday in an interim response to a showcause notice issued by Maharashtra Governor and Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.

The V-C, who has been blamed for implementing a new onscreen assessment process in a rush, had been asked to explain the delay in the results. In an interim reply, Deshmukh has claimed that foul play led to improper implementation of the onscreen process, said sources in the Governor’s office. He has alleged that over one lakh papers were mixed up – either at the college level or at the CAP centre of the university before the papers were scanned – to cause chaos that has now led to a delay in the results.

While students and politicians alike have blamed Deshmukh for the unprecedented delay of more than two months in declaration of results, Deshmukh has claimed that there were forces working against the proper implementation of the new process. He has asked the Governor to initiate an inquiry into the alleged mix-up of papers, said sources.

In another allegation, Deshmukh has said that he did not receive adequate support from the government. The V-C has been facing flak from all quarters for his decision to implement the onscreen assessment process in a haste. On August 9, Deshmukh was sent on forced leave and Devanand Shinde, V-C of Shivaji University in Kolhapur, was handed over additional charge of MU. Deshmukh’s leave came as demands for his resignation gathered steam over the past few weeks with opposition parties and also the Shiv Sena raising the issue in the monsoon session of the Legislative Assembly. Student organisations, too, had sought his resignation.

Results of final year examinations have been delayed by almost two months this year, affecting over 4.5 lakh students. Lakhs of students may have to drop a year as they may not be able to join other institutes for higher education. Following the delay, the Governor had on July 4 asked the varsity administration to declare results by July 31, a deadline that hasn’t been achieved. It was then that the Governor issued a showcause notice to the V-C, a first in the university history.

Deshmukh submitted an interim reply on Monday, the deadline, and sought more time to gather statistics and proof to support his allegations. So far, around 300 results of the 477 exams held this year have been declared.