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.

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