February 14, 2022 3:23:25 am
NEARLY TWO weeks after IAS officer Sushil Khodwekar was arrested in the paper leak scam by the Pune police, the official is yet to be suspended by the Maharashtra government. According to the All-India Civil Services rules, an officer must be suspended if he is in custody for more than 48 hours.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta had sent a report to the state government on the same day of Khodwekar’s arrest and the official is now lodged in Yerwada jail.
Chief Secretary Debashish Chakrabarty told The Indian Express, “The suspension will happen anytime now. Some more information was sought.” While Additional Chief Secretary In-Charge of General Administration Department Sujata Saunik said that the proposal was awaiting government approval.
Sources in the state government said there may be a delay by some bureaucrats while suspending their fellow officer.
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Khodwekar is an IAS officer of the 2011 batch and is working with the Agriculture Department as a deputy secretary. He was arrested for his role in the education department where he was a deputy secretary till November 2020.
Starting with the investigation into a paper leak in the recruitment process of Group D employees of the Health Department in November last year, the cyber cell of Pune city police further unearthed a question paper leak in Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) recruitment, malpractices in the TETs of 2020 and 2018, and a paper leak in the Group C recruitment process of the Health Department.
Till now, these five investigations have led to a total of 37 arrests, including those of senior government officials, middlemen, private entities contracted for recruitment processes, coaching class owners and candidates.
Khodwekar was the 13th person to be arrested in the case. Police also alleged that the IAS officer went out of the way to support other accused found to be involved in illegal activities within the department. Police also want to investigate the officer’s mobile phone.
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