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Posted at: May 18, 2018, 12:39 AM; last updated: May 18, 2018, 12:39 AM (IST)

Judicial paper leak

Need to restore faith in recruitment process
Judicial paper leak

A lackadaisical effort to investigate the paper leak of the Haryana Civil Service (Judicial) recruitment exam by Chandigarh Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) has turned the probe into a mockery. But for the full bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court calling the bluff of the accused, the case was clearly headed nowhere. Well versed in legal jugglery, the main accused, Registrar (Recruitment), an officer of the rank of Additional District Judge, managed to secure an order that allowed him access to statements of witnesses recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC. The evidence is vital to make the trial succeed. The court has questioned the public prosecutor’s “intentions”, as he neither appealed against the order allowing sharing of vital evidence, nor informed the court, which is monitoring the case.

Here, the court’s own image is at stake on account of being the recruitment authority for the state judicial services. The Full Bench has rightly questioned the failure of the Chandigarh Police to file an appeal as the trial court order can jeopardise the outcome of the case. Even for a layman, it is preposterous to hear that the accused is demanding the call details of all investigating officers because he suspects they are working under someone's influence to nail him. The manner in which the SIT has allowed the case to proceed, has, at least on court file, turned the needle of suspicion on the investigators rather than the accused.

Senior officials are often summoned by courts, therefore summoning of the UT DGP in person is not a surprise. But it is apparent that no senior officer of the UT Police was supervising the probe. Terming the action of SIT as “hoodwinking”, perhaps, is an understatement. There appears to be enough evidence in judicial files to suggest there is some truth in the allegations of paper leak. The court has not minced any words in observing that the SIT appears to have “connived” with the accused. It is now in the court's own interest to see the case reaches a logical conclusion to restore faith in the recruitment process.

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