Guwahati: A day after Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that he is hesitant to take action against the entire batch of 2013 combined competitive exam (CCE) conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) as per the recommendation of Justice (Retired) Biplab Kumar Sharma Commission.
Aam Admi Party (AAP), Assam on Sunday demanded the chief minister to make the report public without further delay.
The AAP questioned the humanity and sincerity of the chief minister towards 42,000 innocent candidates who had appeared in the exam but were deceived due to the cash-for-job scam of the APSC.
The APSC cash-for-job scam came to light in 2016 when many successful candidates including Assam Civil Service (ACS) and Assam Police Service (APS) officers who appeared in CCE 2013, results of which were declared in May 2015, were alleged to have indulged in irregular practices in cahoots with the then APSC chairman Rakesh Paul.
Following the revelations, police lodged several cases and arrested 60 serving officers from the CCE 2013 batch. After the detection of anomalies, 39 officers were terminated from service.
The judicial panel led by Justice (retired) Biplab Kumar Sharma which was constituted by the state government to probe into the irregularities, submitted its report on April 2022 following which the state government formed a high-level committee led by the chief secretary to decide the action to be taken against the officers of 2013 batch.
BK Sharma Commission submitted its second report on November 2 against the officers of the 2014 batch, which is yet to be considered by the state government.
In the first report, the judicial panel recommended the removal of the entire batch of 2013 who got such coveted posts by unfair means.
Addressing a press conference at Janata Bhawan on November 4, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “The first report of the Biplab Kumar Sharma Commission had recommended the dismissal of the entire batch of 2013. The report directly mentioned 34 people. Not only the jobs of 34 people but the entire batch has to be sacked.”
Sarma said that he is not inclined to implement this recommendation, as he believes that not all of the candidates in the batch are involved in the scam.
“Not all candidates are bad. Candidates of that batch have obtained degrees from various places and are currently working.
Now suddenly they can’t be removed from their jobs. Court judges make decisions in matters of justice. If so, there is no problem in their case. But as chief minister, I have to look equally at justice and humanity,” Sarma also said.
“39 officers were arrested and sent to jail for getting various coveted APSC posts with unfair means. This action was taken during the regime of former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
But after coming to power chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma formed a judicial panel led by retired Justice of Gauhati High Court Biplab Kumar Sarma, which has submitted its first report on April 2, 2022,” AAP, Assam vice president Jitul Deka said addressing a press conference at the party office here on Sunday.
“The chief minister who had claimed that he would jump like a tiger against the corrupt is now trying to protect the corrupt and scamstars.
The commission has thoroughly investigated the APSC examination system, documents, witnesses, forensic reports, court cases etc. in the first phase of corruption in the 2013 APSC examination and candidates who paid Rakesh Pal for jobs.
The Commission submitted its report to the government on April 2, 2022. It is surprising that the chief minister, who claims to have zero tolerance against corruption, has not dared to take action against those who have taken jobs through corruption even after half a year of submission of the report,” Deka said.
“After the report of the 2013 APSC examination, the chief minister said that action would be taken together once the report of the commission’s investigation into the 2014 examination was received.
The BK Sharma Commission also submitted its second report to the government on November 2. But the statement made by the chief minister shocked the people,” Deka also said.
“The chief minister said he did not see what was in the report. This shows how much he is interested in taking action against corruption in the APSC.
The chief minister told the media that as recommended by the report, not all those who got jobs that year can be dismissed because they have families,” Deka further said.
“It is OK not to dismiss everyone as recommended by the commission but why has no action been taken against those whose names have been mentioned after half a year?
The government has promoted officers who got jobs by paying Rakesh Pal mentioned in this report, to join important departments like NIA.
The APS officer mentioned in this report has been arrested on charges of extorting money from businessmen while the chief minister has not dared to take action,” the AAP leader said.
“The chief minister is talking about humanity. 42,000 candidates of the 2013 APSC examination have been cheated due to this scam and corruption.
If you want to show humanity, arrest those who took jobs through corruption and show humanity towards 42,000 candidates.
Where did this humanity of the chief minister go when MLA Narayan Deka and Minister Ashok Singhal evicted the houses of indigenous families in Silsanko Beel on his orders,” he questioned.
“The chief minister has said that he would not take action against APSC corrupt officials because they have families and children.
We want to ask him why he has not arrested Abhimanyu Das accused of another job scam involving BJP woman leader Indrani Tahbildar’s suicide case.
Because he has family and children? Isn’t it because he has a family that the accused in the fake call centre scam has not been arrested,” Deka further questioned.
“The same is true of APSC corruption. During the regime of the former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, 34 people were arrested, jailed for years and dismissed from their jobs.
Therefore, it is necessary to take action against these 34 officers,” he said.
“Overall, the people of Assam have seen the soft stance of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma towards the accused officers of the APSC scam.
Now the chief minister’s double standard on corruption has been exposed,” he further said.
“AAP Assam also demanded the government to make public the second report of the BK Sharma Commission,” he added.
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