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President approves prosecution sanction against Rakesh Paul


GUWAHATI, Feb 9: More than a year after the Assam Police arrested the kingpin of cash-for-job scam Rakesh Paul, the Office of the President of India recently approved prosecution sanction order against Paul paving the way for starting of the much-awaited trial against the high profile former APSC chairman.
The development will also result in formal removal of Paul from the post of Chairman of APSC which has constitutional sanctity. Paul was suspended from the post soon after he was arrested during the end part of 2016.
Paul was the prime accused in the APSC’s multicrore “cash-for-job” scam. In 2017, the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee had moved the file regarding trial of Paul to the Union Ministry concerned. Even though the police had filed chargesheet against Paul in 2017, his trial could not be started since the President did not approve prosecution sanction against him. The trial against two members of APSC, namely Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley who were arrested after Paul’s arrest on charges of their involvement in the “cash-for-job” scam, are currently facing trial in the court.
The scam surfaced after a dentist, who had applied for a job through an examination conducted by APSC, was approached by a State Government employee promising her the post if she paid Rs 10 lakh. A trap was laid and the employee, who used to act as an agent for senior APSC officials, was arrested while taking the bribe money.
Earlier the Dibrugarh Police which is investing the scam, had arrested 24 out of 25 accused ACS and APS officers who had allegedly bribed Rakesh Paul and other officials of APSC to get the much sought-after civil servant posts by doctoring their answer sheets. An investigation of the answer sheets of these officers revealed a mismatch in their handwriting. The officers were arrested after forensic tests to match their handwritings with fake answer sheets recovered by the police confirmed discrepancies   
More officers facing police investigation are ACS officers Avisikha Baruah, Rituraj Gogoi, Joydev Mahantra & Sanjan Phukan and APS officers Kaushik Kalita and Debabrata Dey, Assistant Employment Officer Satyajit Sarkar, Inspector of Taxes Barnali Devi and Inspector of Excise Abhishek Borbora.