Haryana Civil Services marks 'manipulated', nod sought to prosecute HPSC ex-chairman, members : The Tribune India

Haryana Civil Services marks 'manipulated', nod sought to prosecute HPSC ex-chairman, members

Haryana Civil Services marks 'manipulated', nod sought to prosecute HPSC ex-chairman, members

Picture for representational purpose only.

Tribune News Service

Geetanjali Gayatri

Chandigarh, September 22

Seventeen years after cases related to alleged irregularities in Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) recruitments were registered, the State Vigilance Bureau has sought sanction from the state government to prosecute the then Chairman, members and the Secretary of the commission for “gross manipulations”. The appointments, against the posts advertised for Haryana Civil Services (HCS) and Allied Services and professors (college cadre), were made during the Indian National Lok Dal regime.

‘Irregularities’ in 2001, 2004

  • The appointments made in Haryana during the INLD regime
  • Recruitments against HCS & Allied, Prof (college cadre) posts
  • 696 answer-sheets of 117 candidates inspected by the SVB
  • Irregularities found in 198 of the answer-sheets of 101 candidates

Marking ‘Anomalies’

Overwriting, cutting, increase and decrease of marks, use of different ink in answer-sheets; disclosure of identity, pages being left blank and questions being solved later (for which marks awarded)

‘Wrongs’ in interview

State Vigilance Bureau report suggests ‘favourite’ candidates given more marks in interview

186 officers under scanner

  • 66 officers of 2001 batch
  • 120 of the 2004 batch
  • 23 of the 2004 batch served notices

Sources said the State Vigilance Bureau (SVB) has, in a report submitted to the government, stated that the entire HCS and Allied Services examination process of 2001 and 2004 was “vitiated” and the selections were “illegal and arbitrary”. The SVB has also recommended prosecution of the examiners involved in paper-checking after finding “sufficient evidence” against them. This puts a question mark on the fate of 186 officers—66 HCS and Allied Services posts were advertised in 2001 and 120 in 2004. The government has already served a show-cause notice on 23 HCS officers of the 2004 batch.

Sources in the government said there was a likelihood that these appointments would be declared “ab initio void”. However, the SVB report is “still under consideration” and the departments concerned are “deliberating on the next course of action”. The action is to be initiated by the Chief Secretary.

The report has attributed the delay of several years in the investigation to the initial “non-cooperative” attitude of the HPSC in sharing examination records. As per the report, investigations found several irregularities, including overwriting, cutting, increase and decrease in marks, use of different ink; disclosure of identity and pages left blank, and remaining questions solved thereafter, for which marks were awarded by the examiners. The examiners concerned could not give any satisfactory reply for these “omissions” and have, thus, been “found guilty”, the report said.

In the 696 answer-sheets of 117 candidates that were inspected, irregularities were found in 198 answer-sheets of 101 candidates. The answer-sheets with major irregularities were found to have been checked in Delhi, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur and Hisar. These had been personally delivered to the examiners by the then HPSC Secretary, who was an HCS officer.

Citing examples with names and roll numbers of candidates, the SVB report mentioned that some candidates were awarded more marks in the interview or their marks in the answer-sheets were increased while the marks of high-scorers were intentionally decreased in the interviews to benefit the favoured ones.

Also, no day-to-day record of the interviews of candidates was maintained and these had been awarded and signed on a single day (May 2, 2002, for the 2001 HCS batch). The report concludes that the “whole recruitment exercise was done in a pre-meditated, arbitrary, corrupt and illegal manner”.

While the report states that no evidence was found against then Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, it has sought prosecution sanction against seven persons, including then HPSC Chairman, the members and the then Secretary in the 2001 batch selection case.

In the 2004 selection case, it has sought the sanction to prosecute seven persons, including the HPSC members and its Secretary while names of the then Chairman and one member have been dropped as they were no longer alive. The scrutiny of the answer-sheets of this exam revealed similar discrepancies and the report has held 10 examiners “guilty of manipulation of marks”.

With regard to the appointment of professors (college cadre) of different subjects in 2001 and appointment against 18 different posts in Chaudhary Devi Lal Memorial Engineering, Panniwala Mota, Sirsa, the SVB has examined selections against every post. The investigations revealed that the selected candidates were allegedly granted higher marks in the interview compared to the unsuccessful candidates who otherwise had higher scores in ‘personal achievements’ and the selection committee “violated and manipulated the norms of interview”.

The subject experts’ recommendations, too, were overlooked in some cases.

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