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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Dental Surgeon Recruitment Scam: Haryana govt sacks ‘mastermind’ HCS officer Anil Nagar

A four page dismissal order, issued by Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal on behalf of the Haryana Governor, names Nagar as the mastermind of the scam.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: December 7, 2021 9:11:35 pm
Haryana, dental surgeon, Haryana government, Haryana Civil Services, Dental Surgeon Recruitment Scam, HCS, Chandigarh news, Chandigarh, Indian express, Indian express newsThe State Vigilance Bureau had mentioned in its report that Anil Nagar and another accused had manipulated the OMR sheets of the Haryana Civil Service preliminary examination and test for dental surgeons.

The Haryana government Tuesday dismissed from service suspended deputy secretary of the Haryana Public Service Commission Anil Nagar, a Haryana Civil Services officer, who earlier arrested by the Vigilance Bureau for allegedly taking bribes to manipulate marks of candidates for their recruitment as dental surgeons.

A four page dismissal order, issued by Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal on behalf of the Haryana Governor, names Nagar as the mastermind of the scam.

“Whereas Anil Nagar has been placed under suspension with effect from November 11, the date of his arrest, there is not an iota of doubt that defaulter has acted in a manner most reprehensible, which is not expected from a member of the service. The defaulter has exhibited grave misconduct, thereby tarnishing the image of the state government in the eyes of the general public. Further, such immoral activities bring severe disrepute to the state government His continuation in service would be detrimental to the cause of public interest and department discipline,” read the government order.

It said Anil Nagar also attempted to intimidate and coerce witnesses and tried to destroy the evidence.

The order has been issued under Article 311(2) (b) of the Constitution, which empowers the competent authority to dismiss, remove or reduce the rank of a government servant without any departmental inquiry.

Nagar is alleged to have demanded and accepted illegal gratification to the tune of several crores of rupees. The Vigilance Bureau has so far recovered over Rs 3.6 crore from Nagar and the other accused.

Haryana’s main opposition Congress had stepped up attack on the ruling BJP-JJP alliance and demanded an inquiry by a special investigation team monitored by the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court into the alleged scam, saying it was important to unearth the “role of those in the higher echelons of power”. Indian National Lok Dal too had stepped up the attack on the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government over the alleged cash-for-jobs scam.

Detailing reasons for dismissing the HPSC deputy secretary, the order said, “Anil Nagar remained posted as deputy Secretary in HPSC, which is a high-level post in the Commission, so it has been learnt that he or together with his associates or others, can terrorise, threaten or intimidate witnesses who are going to give evidence against him with fear of reprisal to prevent them from doing so. He is likely to further intimidate the subordinate staff for not giving any evidence against him due to his subordination during his tenure.., the competent authority has reasons to believe to dispense with the departmental proceedings/inquiry for the mentioned reasons,” said the order.

“Whereas, the competent authority has, after taking into consideration all aspects of the case, decided to award a punishment of dismissal from service which shall ordinarily be a disqualification for future employment under the government upon Anil Nagar,” it said.

The State Vigilance Bureau had mentioned in its report that Anil Nagar and another accused had manipulated the OMR sheets of the Haryana Civil Service preliminary examination and test for dental surgeons.

Anil Nagar and the other accused were booked under Section 7A of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and under Sections 420, 466, 468, 471, 129(B) of IPC read with 8(3)(4) Haryana Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2021 in a case registered at Vigilance Bureau police station in Panchkula.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Hisar resident Narender who alleged that one Naveen, a resident of Bhiwani had demanded money to get candidates selected in the dental surgeon recruitment exam conducted by HPSC on September 26, the order mentions. It says, Narender’s acquaintance Sombir approached Naveen who demanded Rs 35-40 lakh per candidate. Sombir gave names of two candidates of which one, Naveen claimed, cleared the exam while the other attempted too many questions and hence the OMR sheet could not be manipulated. “Once Dalbir’s name figured in the selection list, Naveen demanded payment…Sombir negotiated with Naveen for Rs. 20 lakh, recorded the conversation and Narendra approached the Vigilance Bureau…A trap was set and Naveen was apprehended accepting Rs 20 lakh from the complainant,” mentions the order.

Based on Naveen’s confession, Vigilance sleuths arrested Jhajjar resident Ashwani Sharma and seized Rs 1.07 crore from his house search. During interrogation, Ashwani said the cash was to be paid to Anil Nagar. “Ashwani spoke to Nagar who asked him to deliver the money at his HPSC office. The conversation was recorded and the Vigilance Bureau arrested Nagar when he accepted the cash from Ashwani on November 18,” read the order.

Giving details of the sequence of events in the case, the order, quoting the Vigilance Bureau report, said, “Anil Nagar had called for the answer sheets of the agreed-upon candidates and had made alterations in the answers and then re-scanned the sheets….Further, Anil Nagar’s residence was searched and Rs 12 lakh cash was seized. On interrogation, Nagar confessed that he had parked money with his associate and Rs 2.10 crore was recovered from his associate. Thus, a total of Rs 3.5 crore cash has been seized so far in the course of the investigation”.

The order further said that a handwritten list of roll numbers of the HCS exam was “recovered from Nagar’s wallet…whereas, interrogation of all three (arrested) accused revealed that a total of around 30-32 candidates were involved…”.

Quoting Nagar’s interrogation report, the order further elaborated that of the 32 roll numbers, 15 were of the Haryana Civil Service candidates of whom five passed in the preliminary examination and 17 were of dental surgeon candidates of whom 13 passed.

“As being deputy secretary, he was overall in charge of the examination, he is supposed to do work as per the standard operating procedure but he was involved in manipulating answer sheets. This is highly unbecoming of the officer. Thus, he does not deserve to be in service. Keeping in view the overall circumstances of the case and grave misconduct and indiscipline on the part of the accused in the case, it is clear that Anil Nagar is not fit to be retained further as a member of civil services of the state,” the order said.

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