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Trio held in HPSC cash-for-job scam, rigged at least five recruitment exams

The agency is yet to arrest the candidates who had allegedly paid bribe

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
December 3, 2021 6:43:34 am
It claimed that Naveen, Ashwini and Nagar, in their statements, have told the interrogators that they rigged recruitment of at least five persons and even submitted the roll numbers after accepting bribe from them. (Representational)

The accused arrested for allegedly rigging the examination for hiring dental surgeons in Haryana manipulated the marks in at least four other recruitment examinations, including that of the Haryana Civil Services, after accepting bribe varying from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh each, the Vigilance Bureau has said.

The investigating agency in mid-November had arrested Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) deputy secretary Anil Nagar and two others – Ashwini Balhara and Naveen Kumar – for allegedly manipulating marks of candidates who appeared in the written examination for recruitment of dental surgeons in September.

The agency is yet to arrest the candidates who had allegedly paid bribe. In its remand application, the VB mentioned that the accused have confessed to having rigged recruitment for five candidates for Haryana Civil Services, 13 for dental surgeons, 40 for staff nurse, four of VDLA, and around 15-16 for ANM workers.

It claimed that Naveen, Ashwini and Nagar, in their statements, have told the interrogators that they rigged recruitment of at least five persons and even submitted the roll numbers after accepting bribe from them.

Talking to The Indian Express, a senior officer said, “Both the parties – the bribe giver and the bribe taker – are guilty under the provisions of law. In the current case also, while the accused who were conspiring with each other to rig the recruitment, demanded and accepted lakhs of rupees have already been arrested, all those who paid the bribe shall also not be spared. A deterrent needs to be there for all such people too who pay money to secure government jobs and jeopardise the prospects of deserving and meritorious candidates”.

In the remand application of Ashwini, who executed the scanning of documents in HPSC for the HCS and dental surgeon examinations, told the Vigilance Bureau that he executed this job in September. He added that HPSC had constituted a committee comprising superintendent, DDA, clerk and a peon who supervised the document-scanning work. Ashwini also told the Vigilance Bureau that after the documents were scanned, the same were kept in the strong room. The key to the strong room was with HCS officer Anil Nagar. He told the interrogators that he had struck a deal with Nagar for Rs 20 lakh per candidate.

“Thus, I shared a list of 17 candidates who had appeared in dental surgeon examination and 16 who had appeared in HCS examination with Nagar. I gave him the roll numbers of the candidates. After that, Nagar made me scan their OMR sheets again. Out of the roll numbers that I had given to Nagar, five cleared the HCS examination while 13 cleared it for dental surgeons,” Ashwini told the Vigilance Bureau and also shared the list of roll numbers with them.

Naveen, the third accused, also disclosed eight roll numbers. He confessed to have accepted Rs 20 lakh each from all these eight candidates who cleared the dental surgeon examination. Besides that, Naveen also told the Vigilance officials that Ashwini also made him meet Nagar at least two-three times in his office, due to which he developed confidence in him and accepted the money from candidates who were appearing in these recruitment examinations.

Naveen, too, told the Vigilance that there were five recruitment examinations in which they had accepted money from multiple candidates and many of those cleared the examinations.

According to the Vigilance officials, Nagar was the custodian of the OMR sheets in HPSC office in Panchkula. Naveen and Ashwini used to identify the candidates, take money from them and share it with Nagar. The candidates were asked to answer only 40-60 questions in the OMR sheets. Then Nagar, allegedly, used to answer the remaining questions and put the OMR sheets in the strong room. According to the accused, several candidates, despite their help, could not clear the examination, because they had answered too many questions in the OMR sheets not leaving enough space for manipulation.

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