APSC cash-for-job scam: 23 officers suspended by Assam government

Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Assam Police, set up to probe the scam, was conducting a fresh inquiry into the scam.
APSC cash-for-job scam: 23 officers suspended by Assam government


GUWAHATI: In a significant development in the cash-for-job scam, 23 ACS, APS, and allied service officers, who obtained their jobs by using unfair means in the Combined Competitive Examinations (CCE)-2013 conducted by APSC, were suspended by the Assam government.

This development took place at a time when the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Assam Police, set up to probe the scam, was conducting a fresh inquiry into the scam, which rocked the state.

All 23 suspensions were effected on the basis of the report of the one-man inquiry commission of Justice (Retd.) Biplab Kumar Sharma. The suspended officers are: Assam Civil Service (ACS) officers—Hitesh Mazumdar, Additional District Commissioner, South Salmara-Mankachar; Dhrubajyoti Hatibaruah, Deputy Secretary to the Government of Assam, Indigenous and Tribal Faith & Culture Department; Dhiraj Kumar Jain, Deputy Secretary to the Government of Assam, Election Department & Joint CEO, Assam; and Akashee Duwarah, Additional District Commissioner, Jorhat.

The list also includes Assam Police Service (APS) officers—Dipankar Dutta Lahkar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), 21st APBN, Katlicherra, Hailakandi; Nitumani Das, Additional SP (Crime), Bongaigaon; Rumir Timungpi, Assam Police Headquarters; Faruk Ahmed, ASP (HQ), South Salmara; Kalyan Kumar Das, ASP (Crime), Cachar; Kula Pradip Bhattacharya, ASP, CM’s Special Vigilance Cell and attached to CM’s security; Nilanjal Gogoi, DSP, Special Branch (HQ), Assam, Kahilipara; Nandini Kakati, ADCP (Central), Police Commissionerate, Guwahati; Analjyoti Das, ASP (HQ), Dima Hasao; Sajahan Sarkar, ASP (Crime), Jorhat; and Aoicharjya Jibon Baruah, ASP (HQ), Udalguri.

In addition to the ACS and APS officers named above, the following allied service officers were suspended: Bikash Sharma and Chakradhar Deka, Assistant Registrars of Cooperative Societies; Gitartha Baruah, Bichitra Gopal Nath, and Rakesh Das, Employment Officers; and Saurabhpran Sharma, Inspector of Excise.

Two other officers- Jayanta Doley, Superintendent of Taxes, and Priyanka Deka, Inspector of Taxes, were also suspended on Friday for their involvement in the cash-for-job scam.

During its inquiry, the BK Sharma inquiry commission found evidence of foul play against a total of 34 officers. These officers did not come under the radar of the investigation by Dibrugarh police, which were the first to probe the cash-for-job scam in the APSC’s CCE-2013 and CCE-2014.

Moreover, the state government suspended the 23 officers who were indicted in the report of the BK Sharma Commission. The fate of the remaining 11 officers, out of the total of 34 on the radar of the Commission, however, remains unclear at this stage. A show-cause notice was served to all 34 officers by the state government recently.

After the government’s decision to suspend the 21 officers, Personnel, Home, and other departments concerned issued a notification regarding the suspension. In the departmental notification, it is mentioned: “Whereas the One-Man Inquiry Commission of Justice (Retd.) BK Sharma has reported about anomalies and malpractices resorted to for the selection of candidates in exchange of money and other extraneous consideration by the Assam Public Service Commission headed by the then chairman Shri Rakesh Kumar Paul while conducting the Combined Competitive Examination, 2013/14.” The notification goes on to list the charges against the individual officers, concluding that, “Whereas the government considers that allowing the officer to continue in his present post may not be in the interest of public service and may cause embarrassment to the government,” the officers were thereby suspended.

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