Sunday, May 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Retest for PCS posts likely
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 25
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, while stating today that there was no question of any rethinking on the sacking of PCS (Executive) officers, said the government was considering a proposal to hold a re-examination for the posts which could also be taken by the officers whose services had been dispensed with two days ago.

Talking to reporters after addressing the general body meeting of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers Association, the Chief Minister said the government proposed to recall all candidates who had given the examination for the PCS (Executive). He said the dismissed candidates could be taken back in service if they passed the examination and the screening process, adding that their seniority could also be restored to them if this happened.

The Chief Minister said the government had every right to dispense with the services of the officers, adding that there was a Supreme Court ruling which made it clear that any batch in which large-scale bungling had taken place was liable for dismissal. He said of the 4,000 appointments made by the PPSC Chairman, Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu, as many as 634 appointees had not been given appointment letters. He said while the government had taken action against 46 PCS officers, it was for the court to decide about the rest.

When asked about the case regarding possession of disproportionate assets resisted against, former PPSC Chairman Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, he said he had ordered a probe into the matter following allegations by Bhupinder Singh Sidhu that former Congress legislator Harminder Singh Jassi was behind the case.

Speaking on the issue of calls by the Shiromani Akali Dal to launch an agitation against victimisation of its leaders, the Chief Minister made it clear that he would not be cowed down by such pressure tactics and that the drive against corruption would be followed to its logical conclusion.


Reconsider decision, urges PCS body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 25
The PCS (Executive) Association which met here today wants the government to reconsider dispensing away with the services of the entire 1999 batch of the PCS (Executive).

According to Mr Jaswant Singh, President of the association, the issue was discussed at length at a meeting where it was unanimously resolved that the association did not support those persons who managed their entry into the premier service by way of leakage of question papers and other unfair means.

“But at the same time it was also felt that even the persons of high merit with high level of honesty and integrity, whom Mr Ravi Sidhu could not eliminate from the merit list, were also removed from the service.

“The association felt that this action of the government, which was taken without scrutiny of the record and an opportunity of explanation to individual officers, is unfair, unjustifiable and arbitrary. The government was duty bound to examine individual cases and take action only where there was a prima facie evidence against them,” a press note of the association said.

The association has also decided to send a representation to the Chief Secretary to reconsider the issue.


For this PCS officer, everything is finished
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Surinder KaurChandigarh, May 25
Over two years after a self-made Nawanshahr girl from a lower middle class family made history by making it to the PCS (Executive), she is in news again, but this time for the wrong reason.

She is one of the 28 PCS (Executive) officers whose services have been dispensed with under Section 23 of the Punjab Civil Service Rules by the Punjab Government as a follow-up action on the recruitment scam.

Though residents of her native village, Jatla, are with her, she does not know what made the government take action against her.

“When I got selected to the PCS, I was so excited. Even at that time everyone was talking about money and “sifarish”. I had none. Being a typical rural girl and the only one to take a written test and appear for the interview in Punjabi, I always thanked the Almighty for helping me get this job on my merit and in recognition of my hardwork. We had an akhand path in the village as I became the sole breadwinner of my family.

“And today I am feeling so upset. My hardwork, labour and prayers, including those of my parents, appear to have gone waste. I am the youngest of four daughters of a retired Managing Officer of the Punjab Rehabilitation Department. My father retired in 1984. Two of my elder sisters are widows.

The third one is divorced. My only brother, like me, has been a topper throughout and is doing MA political science. I do not know what luck has in store for me.

“It is not that I am losing my job. I do not know how the ‘blot’ on me as a member of the tainted 1999 batch will go. After the recruitment scam came to light, I was never perturbed as my name did not appear either on the list of those who bribed the PPSC Chairman or those who had “sifarish”. But now when the government has decided to dispense away with my services, I feel bad that I belong to this state. How a self-made girl from a rural area, with neither money nor influence, could fight a system where she had been declared guilty without being given a chance to explain her position ? I do not know what to do next.

“I agree that the entire village is supporting me, knowing well how hard I worked right from the village school to securing the third position in the university in my masters and then getting this job after saying no to a job of a government teacher,” she says, wiping her tears.

“Now when things were starting to look up after years of struggle, this has come as a rude shock. It is not me alone. There are at least seven or eight others who got the PCS jobs solely on merit. Their names did not appear in any of the statements made by the touts of the chairman.

“Why should we all be clubbed together?,” she says, claiming that at least the government should have considered the financial position and background of her family and then ascertain whether “I was able to give a bribe or get a “sifarish” big enough to get through the PCS”.

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