Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HCS Selection Scam
Story of a ‘missing’ map
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Was a map to be attached with the answer sheets in the history paper of the controversial HCS and allied service examination conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) as claimed by its former chairman K.C. Bangar and a selected candidate Kuldhir Singh? Or the map was to be drawn on the answer sheet by the candidates as a reading of the question paper suggests?

Bangar had alleged yesterday that the map which was attached with the answer sheet of Kuldhir, son of Sher Singh Badshami, the then political adviser to former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, was removed by someone to give an impression that the candidate had been awarded marks for five questions while he attempted only four.

He had supported the demand for a CBI inquiry to find out how the map was removed.

This question came up before the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice K.S. Ahluwalia, when the hearing on a petition filed by Karan Singh Dalal, MLA, challenging the HCS selections of 2002 resumed today.

At the start of the proceedings, it was alleged on behalf of Kuldhir Singh that officers of the HPSC in connivance with the secretary had removed the map. Counsel for the petitioner Mohan Jain produced a copy of the question paper which read that “draw an outline of map of India indicating the following…Also add a small note of one page to it…” Jain said as per the question paper, the map was to be “drawn” and not to be “attached” and one page note was also to be written.

In spite of this, Kuldhir was given 11 marks for this question. Apart from this, Kuldhir Singh, Jain said had crossed page numbers 18 to 21 in his English paper, but later at pages 20 and 21, which were also crossed, he had written answers which were duly marked and added in the total.

Counsel for the respondents also raised the question of maintainability of the petition as a PIL, which was rejected by the bench, which said the issue involved was of great public importance and directly related to the faith of the common man in the institution of the Public Service Commission.

The bench was also astonished that though the matter involved was of great importance for the public, it had been pending since 2002.

Jain also brought to the notice of the court that the reply to the inspection report had been filed by the HPSC through its officer on special duty, whereas, it should have been filed either by the secretary or the chairman.

The court directed that the reply should be filed again by present chairman M.S. Saini. The case will come up for further hearing on February 27.

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