The Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), which had become defunct after the arrest of three of its six members on various charges of corruption, on Thursday resumed functioning with acting Chairman Brigadier (Retd) Ranjit Borthakur seeking legal opinion on what to do with results of several examinations conducted during the past few months.
“Since three of the members who had also conducted interviews of candidates for as many as 14 different examinations are currently under arrest. The APSC obviously cannot declare the results. We have to seek legal opinion as well as the opinion of the state government in this matter,” said Borthakur, a former Army Intelligence officer who has been member of the APSC since 2013. Borthakur was appointed acting Chairman on Wednesday.
“The image of the APSC suffered “very badly” in the past one month after three members including Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul were arrested in quick succession since November 4. The other two arrested members are Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley, both former college professors. My immediate tasks include rebuilding the image and regain the faith of the people,” Borthakur told The Indian Express.
Results of as many as 14 examinations that included selection of college lecturers, BDOs, food inspectors and other officers have remained stalled due to the arrest of chairman Paul, Rahman and Doley and assistant controller of examinations Pabitra Kaibarta in the past month. Moreover, three examinations have been postponed because of the arrests, Borthakur said.
“How can we declare results of those examinations where these three persons were also on the interview board?” Borthakur asked. While the credibility of the APSC had suffered, rules also say that all the members have to sign on the final selection list, he added.
Meanwhile, the police investigating into the APSC jobs-for-cash scandal have interrogated several Assam government officers who were allegedly recruited by Paul & Company through unfair means. “Yes, several officers of the Assam Civil Service and Assam Police Service have been interrogated in the past couple of days,” said Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay.
DGP Sahay said the team investigating the APSC scandal would interrogate several more government officers who were selected during the past three years. “Names of officers who have been interrogated have been mentioned by Paul and the other two arrested APSC members,” the DGP said.
Skeletons had started tumbling out of the APSC’s cupboards after Nabakanta Patir, an assistant engineer with the state town planning department, was arrested on October 27 in Dibrugarh for allegedly collecting Rs 10 lakh on behalf of Paul from a candidate who had appeared for a job in the state dental service. A PSO of member Samedur Rahman was also arrested two days later.