Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chandigarh, January 27
Can the state government investigate the alleged irregularities in the Haryana Civil Service examination conducted by the State Public Service Commission during the Chautala regime on its own?

The selection has been challenged before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Yes, says former Advocate-General of Haryana Mohan Jain, who is also representing petitioner Karan Dalal, firebrand MLA from Palwal. Dalal has been engaged in a campaign to highlight various alleged misdeeds of the Chautala regime for the past eight years.

During a sample survey of the answer sheets of certain candidates who appeared in the examination, prima facie irregularities were detected in the manner in which the answer sheets were evaluated.

Jain says it has been held by the Supreme Court in a similar case that “It is expected that a state government… shall leave no stone unturned to bring the guilty to book. It is the duty of the state to unearth the scam and spare no officer, how high he may be. We expect the state to make a thorough investigation into the matter.”

The former Advocate-General says in light of the observations by the apex court, it is the bounden duty of the state government to launch investigations into the scam at the first opportunity. While the court, he says, will come to its own conclusions as regard with the selection, the government agencies should do their duty to bring those to the book, who lowered the credibility and prestige of a Constitutional authority like the Public Service Commission.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the then powers that be cheated out a Dalit candidate from making it to the HCS due to their mechanisations. The candidate, though a Dalit, would have made to the prestigious service even against a general category seat, so impressive was his performance in the written examination. But the commission did not award him marks in the interview in accordance with what he had scored in his written examination.

An SC Block B candidate, Shalender Singh Birla, having an impressive educational record, scored 565 marks in the written examination, which were much higher than 536 scored by the candidate who topped the list of successful candidates. However, Birla was given only 17 out of 100 marks in the interview.

Another SC Block B candidate, Ranjit Singh Kaur, who scored only 493 marks in the written examination, was given 90 marks in the interview, making it a total of 583 marks. This was apparently done to select her against the only one post which was reserved for this category.

Birla was pushed to the much junior post of assistant excise and taxation officer (AETO), which he did not join as a protest against the unfair selection.

If Birla had been given his due in the interview, two Dalit candidates would have made it to the HCS. But then it would have meant one post less to accommodate a favourite.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Says withdraw charge from ‘tainted’ officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
Karan Singh Dalal, petitioner in the infamous recruitment scandal of HCS officers by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) during the previous Om Prakash Chautala-led regime, today said the state government must withdraw charge from these officers in view of the report submitted in the court today by a team of lawyers after examining HPSC records relating to the selection.

Dalal, who was an opposition MLA at the time of the selection of these candidates, had leaked out the results to the press even before it was formally announced, and had alleged malpractices in the selection process. He had also held a demonstration in front of the HPSC office in Chandigarh in protest against the selection of the 67 candidates for HCS (executive branch).

Dalal, who is now an MLA of the ruling Congress and chairman of the commission on administrative reforms set up by the state government, said the revelations contained in the report had put a question mark on all appointments done through the HPSC during the Om Prakash Chautala era.

He said Hardeep Singh, who was secretary of the HPSC when the alleged scam took place, should also be prosecuted for his role in the irregularities in the selection process.

When it was pointed out to Dalal that some of the candidates selected at that time had been given plump postings by the present regime, Dalal said this was akin to fattening a lamb before slaughtering it.

He said he would raise in the Assembly the demand of withdrawing charge from the HCS officers whose selection process had come under cloud.

The MLA, credited with exposing many a scandal during the Chautala era, said examination of the records had shown that bright women candidates were the worst victims of the pick-and-choose policy of HCS selection by the HPSC in 2002.

He said the HPSC had also discriminated against the Dalits. A particular Dalit boy, who did well enough in the exam to get selected in the unreserved category, was selected under the SC quota, thereby depriving some other Dalit aspirant from benefiting from the vacancy reserved for Dalits

HCS records tampered with: Dalal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 24
If submissions made by Haryana MLA Karan Singh Dalal, after the inspection of HCS selection records of 2001, are to be believed, marks were increased by way of cutting, using different ink, “in majority of answer-sheets of selected candidates” scrutinised by his team of counsels.

In a nine-page report submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Dalal, through his counsels, had also claimed that the “manipulations” made it clear that the interview board members were carrying list of persons they wanted to select.

In all, the examination of answer-sheets of 10 successful candidates was carried out after the verification of the interview marks under the high court directions.

Taking up the matter this morning, a Division Bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, directed the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) to handover the record of remaining 53 successful candidates.

Issuing the directions, the Judges asked the HPSC to furnish within three days the record in a sealed cover for keeping it in the safe custody of Registrar (Judicial). Fixing February 12 as the next date of hearing in the matter, the Judges also gave two weeks time to HPSC counsel to file reply to the inspection report.

The detailed report of inspection carried out by Haryana’s former Advocate General and Dalal’s counsel Mohan Jain and his team mentioned that in case of selected candidate Kuldhir Singh, the son of then Chief Minister O.P. Chautala’s political advisor Sher Singh Badshami, marks were given for five questions in the history papers, while only four were attempted.

Similarly, in the case of Jagdeep, a close relative of the then HPSC chairman Dr K.C. Bangar, it was observed some of the questions were attempted afterwards, maybe outside the examination hall. In this case also marks were awarded for five questions in the geography paper, while only four questions were attempted.

In the case of Surinder Kumar as well, a relative of O.P. Chautala, some of the question were attempted afterwards or outside the examination hall.

Marks were increased using different ink in case of Sarita Malik, daughter of the then state police chief M.S. Malik.

The report further added that cuttings were found in English paper of Jag Niwas. In his sociology paper, he initially failed, but marks were increased to pass him. For Kamlesh Kumar, marks in English/English essay papers were increased by overwriting.

However, in the case of roll numbers 8055, 7922, 6943, 6317, 14539, and 8577 the marks were found to be deducted.