High Court rap on knuckles to Dispur
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 7: The Gauhati High Court today directed the Assam government to re-post within seven days APS officer Mukul Saikia as SP of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, almost one and half year after the officer was allegedly transferred from the post following a report he submitted to the State government on the disproportiote assets of controversial Assam Public Service Commission chairman Rakesh Paul.
Mukul Saikia had served as the Vigilance and Anti-corruption SP for about a year before he was suddenly transferred as the commandant of the Abhayapuri-based 8th APBn in April last year.
A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice (acting) K Sreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia also directed the court registry to issue a notice to the APS officer to file an affidavit by September 20.
Saikia, while serving as the Vigilance and Anti-corruption SP, had submitted a report to the State Home department which reportedly stated that APSC chairman Rakesh Paul had "accumulated a huge amount of money disproportiote to his known sources of income". Saikia had recommended a detailed investigation against and interrogation of Paul, and had sought sanction for an inquiry.
The court had earlier directed the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit, confirming if any such report was given to the government by Saikia and if so what action was taken. The Chief Secretary, in his affidavit, admitted that Saikia was the author of the report.
Meanwhile, the division bench on July 30 had directed the APSC secretary to file an affidavit regarding the procedure and practice followed for conducting the APSC examition. As many as 12 queries were made by the court.
In his affidavit, the APSC secretary stated that no system of moderation or scaling was employed while evaluating the answer scripts. Five to nine different persons were engaged to evaluate answer scripts of a particular subject. This indicates that the marks awarded will be different for each examiner, which can be made uniform only by moderation.
KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi in a petition had drawn the attention of the court to the anomaly in the key answers. As many as 12 answer keys in the General Studies paper in the prelimiry examition were wrong and these involved 24 marks. So no candidate could have scored more than 176 out of 200 marks. However, candidates have scored 194 marks in the General Studies paper. Similarly, there were wrong key answers in four other optiol subjects like Geography, Political Science, History & Law.
The Division Bench also directed the APSC secretary to file an affidavit indicating the process followed with regard to awarding of marks for the wrong key answers by September 20 - the next date of hearing of the case.
Senior advocates PK Tiwari and Bhaskar Dev Konwar appeared as Amicus Curiae in the PILs. AC Buragohain, Advocate General, Assam appeared for the State and SS Dey appeared for the APSC chairman.