ANOTHER JOLT TO APSC
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Oct 16: A day after ordering CBI to investigate and interrogate APSC chairman Rakesh Paul for alleged disproportiote assets and corruption, the division bench of Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia of Gauhati High Court on Thursday directed the State government to nomite a High Court judge within one month to go into the issue of allegations about anomalies and malpractices in conducting the Combined Competitive Examition (CCE), 2013 by APSC.
The court also directed that the terms of reference framed for Subhas Das Committee should also be framed for the commission. In addition, the terms of reference should be comprehensive to include any type of malpractices in paper setting, evaluation, moderation and viva-voce, including the competence of experts chosen for paper setting and evaluation should also be part of the terms of reference.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Bhaskar Dev Konwar said, “The division bench observed that the allegations with regard to anomalies and malpractices cannot be efficaciously decided in a writ petition as it relates to factual matters. With this view, the court held that the commission headed by a retired judge of the High Court would be the appropriate forum to go into the issues of allegations about anomalies and malpractices in the conduct of the examition, where all aggrieved parties can put forth their cases before the commission.”
The court held that with the appointment of the commission, the question of irregularities and malpractices will have to be decided by the commission.
It may be mentioned that the State government had constituted the Subhas Chandra Das committee to enquire into the complaint petitions received in connection with the Combined Competitive Examition 2013, conducted by APSC, and the results of which were declared on 12.05.2015.
During the course of enquiry, the committee received petitions from KMSS and other organizations alleging irregularities in conduct of CCE -2013 by APSC, wherein doubts were raised about the conduct of Rakesh Paul. But since those petitions were not covered by the terms of reference of the enquiry as notified by the government, they were not looked into.
It was observed in the report that APSC being a constitutiol autonomous body, an administrative enquiry has very little scope to enquire into it and the State government may take a decision with regard to those petitions. The report of the Subhash Das Enquiry Committee was submitted to the government on July 15, 2015.
The committee report was challenged before the High Court in PIL No. 106/2015 by OP Singha, contending that the committee meekly conducted the enquiry by yielding to pressure. It exonerated the APSC from all allegations of malpractices and anomalies. Further, the committee did not conduct fair and proper enquiry. Therefore the report ought to be rejected by the court, the PIL contended.