In a major embarrassment for the Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CGPSC) and the incumbent Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government of Chhattisgarh, the Bilaspur High Court has issued a notice to the commission asking explanation about the alleged irregularities in the selection of the candidates in the 2021 psc examination.
Hearing a petition filed by the former minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nanki Ram Kanwar, the division bench led by Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha observed that the selection of the Chairman’s and secretary’s children is unprecedented.
In a video that is doing rounds on social media, the division bench can be seen expressing their disappointment over the selection of the candidates who are close relatives of PSC chairman and other officials. The bench further asked to halt the appointments of as many as 18 candidates whose selection has been questioned by the petitioner.
While terming the selection of all these candidates as too much of a coincidence the court issued a notice to the PSC citing that the council for the petitioner stated the appointment of the close relatives of the PSC chairman, other officials and leaders of the ruling party is biased.
The court further also enquired about the current status of joining of the accused candidates following which Sanjay Agarwal, the councilor of Kanwar informed the court that the joining process is a long one and the process is in progress. The court then asked to confirm the status of the appointments and sought a reply from the state PSC.
Allegation of Nepotism and fraud in CGPSC 2021 examination
It is to be noted that the State’s Public Service Commission has been on the receiving end after it declared the list of successful candidates of CGPSC 2021 in April this year. The list includes relatives of a few Congress leaders, senior bureaucrats along with seasoned businessmen. The list also includes one ‘Nitesh’ whose surname has also been kept hidden; he is said to be the adopted son of the Commission’s Chairman, Tamam Sonwani.
It is pertinent to mention here that after the declaration of the results a viral anonymous post by an unknown PSC aspirant stormed the state’s political galleries after the aspirants made serious allegations on the selection process of the candidates and claimed that a couple of drug addicts also got selected in the examination.
In the viral post, the user who had introduced himself as a CGPSC aspirant claimed that a few acquaintances of one of his casual friends were well aware of the questions of the mains papers, way before the exam was conducted by the commission.
In his ordeal in the post the user had claimed that one of his casual friends with whom he used to share notes while preparing for the CGPSC exam was in touch with a few aspirants who had contacts with a few senior officers and politicians.
The user claimed that those acquaintances of his friends were indulged in drugs, however when in May 2022 he visited his casual friends room he found that his friend was busy finding answers to a few questions sent by those acquaintances.
On enquiring about the questions his friend replied that those friends of his have cracked the prelims examination and they are preparing for the mains examination.
Astonished by the fact that a few drug addicts had cracked the CGPSC prelims which was otherwise hard to get through given the standard of the pre-paper held in 2021 the user returned to his room. However, much to his surprise same questions were asked by the commission in the mains examination held later on.
The user had further claimed that when the commission finally declared the mains result, that casual friend of his informed that two of his acquaintances had cracked the exam and become officers. Astonished by the news, the user scrolled through the list of successful candidates only to find out that both of them are in the top-30 candidates who had cracked the exam.
The anonymous user had further stated that he is keeping his name secret as he is aware of the consequences given the involvement of the powerful people in the whole process. He further claimed that while enquiring more about the selection process of those acquaintances, his casual friend has disclosed some startling revealations which he cannot share due to security reasons.
After the post went viral on the social media, the state’s opposition BJP had its guns blazing on the Bhupesh Baghel-led government as its youth wing launched a statewide protest against the alleged nepotism and fraud in the examination held in 2021.
Further, senior leaders of the party including former IAS OP Chaudhary while raising objections on the process had demanded that a retired Judge should investigate the whole selection process.
Adding fuel to the fire the state’s public service commission in June also issued a notification for disposal of old irrelevant question papers and OMR sheets used in the previous year examinations triggering another protest from the BJP leaders.
According to the notification, the commission had invited the bidders to submit their tenders for procuring unuseful previous years question papers, OMR sheets, answers sheets, empty cartoons along with envelopes between June 5 -25, 2023.
The commission’s notification ignited a fresh row into the matter as many BJP leaders in the state alleged foul play and cited the development as a desperate move of the chairman to come clean on the records. Raising concerns over the development, senior BJP leader from the state Gaurishankar Srivas while taking to twitter had shared a letter that he wrote to the state’s PSC for cancellation of the tender process.
In the letter to the PSC Chairman, Srivas, while citing the protest of the students over 2021 results declared by the commission, had urged that any such step pertaining to disposal of the documents will not only tarnish the image of the commission but will also hamper the trust of the students. He further urged that any such attempt before a thorough enquiry into the matter will further embolden the doubts raised.
The BJP leader had also claimed that “the PSC chairman is set to retire in September and the notification issued by the commission is nothing but a desperate attempt of his to come clean on records before his retirement. We have already gathered a lot of evidence in the issue and if any investigation shall be conducted we will disclose everything in front of the investigative agency.”
He further had claimed that “A number of students who have qualified the exams were neither seen in any coaching institutes nor in any library they even don’t have any social media accounts, they were provided the question papers in advance, otherwise given the standard of the question papers it is not even possible for those to crack the exams who are preparing for as many as 10 years.”
Read the full report here :-https://organiser.org/2023/06/09/178065/bharat/178065/
Following protest and allegation of wide scale irregularities in the PSC examination another BJP leader and former minister Nanhki Ram Kanwar had filed a petition against the selection of as many as 18 candidates hearing on which the division bench has asked for the explanation.
What lies ahead?
Now after the court has asked for a reply from the administration the BJP leaders are terming this as a sign of victory for them while alleging wide scale irregularities in consecutive PSC examinations under the incumbent Congress rule.
— Sadhna News 24×7 (@SadhnaNews24X7) September 20, 2023
Speaking to the media the president of the BJP state unit, Arun Sao said that “the high court’s observation on the PSC scam is a tight slap on the state government. The youth of the state and the BJP has been stating this for long that wide scale nepotism and fraud has taken place in the selection of the candidates. A government who plays with the future of youth has no moral authority to stay in the government.”
It is to be noted that the tribal dominated state is scheduled to hold elections in November this year where the saffron party is counting on the alleged scams that flourished under the incumbent Congress government including the Rs 2000 crore liquor scam unearthed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) while the Congress on the other hand alleged that the BJP was misusing the federal law enforcement agencies.