APPSC paper leak scam is being probed by different agencies: CM Pema Khandu
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are currently investigating the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) paper leak issue, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has said.
ITANAGAR: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are currently investigating the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) paper leak issue, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has said. The government, which constituted a one-man inquiry commission headed by retired Justice P K Deka, is also probing the matter, Khandu said in a written reply to a query by Congress MLA Wanglin Lowangdong in the assembly on Wednesday. The chief minister reiterated that all those involved in the scam would be punished as per the law of the land. "Ever since the APPSC (AE) (Mains) examination paper leakage issue came to light, the state government has been doing all it can to solve the issue," he said.
The chief minister said that while the posts of officers in the APPSC were merged with common cadres of the secretariat, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the officials against whom allegations of malpractice were reported. Initially, the state police’s Special Investigation Cell (SIC) investigated the matter. Moreover, the government had constituted a three-member inquiry committee headed by the Principal Secretary (Fisheries) to inquire into the paper leakage issue. The committee has already submitted its report with recommendations. The chief minister added that the Sessions Court at Yupia, near here, has been designated as a Special Fast Track Court to try the APPSC paper leakage cases.
Of the 54 individuals arrested in connection with the APPSC issue, 41 are government officials who were found to be involved in the malpractices. Khandu said that a departmental inquiry and action were initiated against all the arrested officials by the respective departments. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against 22 regular employees, and the services of 19 employees, who were yet to be confirmed in the service, were terminated. "As per the information available, six persons have approached the courts in the matter," he informed. When asked by the member about steps taken to streamline the employment system in government service so that educated youth of the state regain further confidence in the system that has been deeply shattered, Khandu said, "The three-member inquiry committee headed by the then Principal Secretary (Fisheries) had already submitted its report with recommendations for better functioning of the Commission.
A two-member committee headed by the then Secretary (Land Management) with the Joint Secretary (Administrative Reforms) as a member was constituted on October 31, 2022, to suggest standard operating procedures (SOP) for APPSC and Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) after considering the best practices being followed by UPSC and SSC. The committee had already submitted a draft SOP to APPSC. However, the same will be finalized by the APPSC after incorporating the views of aspirants and the Commission, he said. Moreover, the state government has issued a fresh advertisement inviting applications for the vacant posts of chairman and three members of the Commission on April 28, 2023. Since the matter is subjudice, the Gauhati High Court has accepted the plea of the government, permitting it to make selections for the vacant posts of chairman and member of the commission. "Once the commission is constituted, fresh SOPs will be finalized. The Standing Grievances Redressal Committee will also be constituted once the Commission is constituted," Khandu added.
The case came to light after Gyamar Padung, a candidate for the APPSC examination, filed a complaint with the Itanagar Police Station on August 29 last year alleging that he suspected that the AE (civil) examination paper had been leaked. The examination for the Assistant Engineer (Civil) posts was conducted on August 26 and August 27 last year by the APPSC.