Friday, November 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

VB submits report to Sinha
Favours removal of over 4,700 employees
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has submitted a report to the state government, recommending the removal of 4,750 employees recruited by the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board during the SAD-BJP rule.

Informed official sources said today that the bureau submitted the final report this morning to the Punjab Home Secretary, Mr S.K. Sinha, for forwarding the same to the authorities concerned for appropriate action. Among the employees to be removed are Naib Tehsildars, Additional District Transport Officers, clerks and junior engineers. The board, which was disbanded immediately after Capt Amarinder Singh took over as Chief Minister, mainly recruited non-gazetted employees.

While holding investigation into the recruitments made by the board during the SAD-BJP rule, the bureau found that most of these were either made for “considerations other than merit” or under political influence. The bureau says that in certain recruitments big sums exchanged hands.

During the course of inquiry, the bureau had arrested almost all members of the board except its chairman, who is abroad. Later, the arrested members came out of the jail on bail. The bureau had also seized the record of the board pertaining to the recruitments.

The inquiry into the recruitments made by the board had started immediately after the recruitment scandal in the Punjab Public Services Commission was exposed following the arrest of its then Chairman, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu. The government has already ordered the removal of certain PCS (executive and judicial) officers recruited during the tenure of Mr Sidhu. In fact, there are only two major government recruitment agencies- PPSC and PSSSB — and both have remained enveloped in controversy for the past several years.

However, it will be very difficult for the government to implement the bureau’s decision regarding the removal of such a large number of employees. It will lead to unrest as a large number of families are bound to be affected by the removal of the employees.

It is expected that the government might examine the recommendation of the bureau at its own level and take a decision only after thoroughly scrutinising these batch were as was done in the case of the PPSC recruitments.

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