On 29th August 2011, Gopal Prasad Singh the alleged mastermind of JPSC (Jharkhand Public Service Commission) Scam surrendered before the Jharkhand State Vigilance Court in Ranchi. He was absconding since last year, when the FIR was registered against him and other co-accused. Despite numerous raids at his residences at Godda and Dumka, the Vigilance Bureau was unable to trace him; so they had attached his property. Yet he could not be found by the State Police. Then the Vigilance Bureau announced Rupees 50,000 on his arrest. And finally Gopal surfaced, to surrender in the court and thereafter he was sent to the judicial custody. The other co-accused in the JPSC scam case, namely, the ex-JPSC members Dilip Prasad, Shanti Devi, the experts appointed by JPSC Batheshwar Pandit, Sohan Ram, the former JPSC secretary Alice Usha Rani Singh, JPSC evaluators Saraswati Gagrai, Anil B. Kullu, and Arti Behera, presently all of them are lodged in the Birsa Munda Jail, Ranchi. The only accused still eluding the Jharkhand Police is Radha Govind Nagesh, the absconder who is on the run after ruining the future of many youngsters.
The first FIR against the accused in the JPSC scam was lodged on 9th June 2010; this was done after the Governor M.O.H. Farook had ordered the Vigilance Bureau to file the case against the above mentioned culprits for their acts of grave irregularities, forgery, interpolation and fraud in the various appointments undertaking during their tenure at JPSC. Prior to that, the Governor Farook’s predecessor Governor K. Sankara Narayan too had directed the Vigilance Bureau to probe charges leveled against the accused mentioned above, as he too had received many complaints against the JPSC Chairman, JPSC Members and other officials.
On 12th June 2010, the Vigilance Bureau had filed another FIR against 32 people under different sections of IPC (Indian Penal Code) 420, 423, 424, 467, and 468. The FIR was lodged against Dilip Prasad, Radha Gobind Nagesh, Shanti Devi, Gopal Prasad Singh and few other JPSC Officials.
While investing the records of 37 of the 172 recruited officials, the Vigilance Bureau found 19 of them to be prima facie guilty. Following which, the Governor had ordered the withdrawal of the 19 Jharkhand Government Officials from the field and consequently the Personnel Department served show-cause notice to these officials, these officials included Block Development Officers, Dy. Superintendent of Police and Executive Magistrates. The Vigilance Bureau booked a prima facie case of fraud and forgery case against these officials, for indulging in manipulation and interpolation. It is alleged that the following 19 Officers, after taking the active assistance from the above named accused and by adopting other illegal methods, only then they could manage to clear the competitive examinations and the personal interviews conducted by JPSC for their recruitment. Subsequently, the FIR was filed against the following 19 successful JPSC candidates, for their fraudulent appointment. Not surprisingly, the majority of them were found to be the close relatives of the politicians, senior bureaucrats and various JPSC members. To illustrate our point, let us share few examples,
|1||Mukesh K. Mahato||Brother of Sudesh Mahto, Dy. C.M.|
|2||Prashant K. Layek||Close Relative of MLA Pradeep Yadav|
|3||Radha Prem Kishore||Brother of ex-MLA Radha Krishna Kishore|
|4||Rajneesh Kumar||Son of Gopal P. Singh, Ex-member JPSC|
|5||Kundan Kumar Singh||Another son of Gopal P. Singh, Ex-member JPSC|
|6||Maushami Nagesh||Daughter of Radha G. Nagesh, Ex-member JPSC|
|7||Binod Ram||Brother of Shanti Devi, Ex-member JPSC|
The remaining 12 candidates, namely, Harishankar Barik, Kanu Ram Nag, Prakash Kumar, Kumari Geetanjali, Hari Oraon, Harihar Singh Munda, Ravi Kumar Kujur, Shivendra, Santosh K. Chaudhary, Sangeeta Kumari, Kumar Kaushalendra and Lal Manoj Nath Shahdeo; they too have links with the influential people. In fact, it is alleged that all 19 of them were given unfair advantages by the accused, to help them qualify the competitive examinations and interviews, so that they could gain employment in the much coveted Sarkari Naukari of Jharkhand Government.
In the month of October 2010, in a major breakthrough, the Vigilance Bureau managed to get hold of one Vijay Kumar, a veterinary doctor and teaching associate at Birsa Agriculture University (BAU) in Ranchi. It is alleged that Vijay Kumar played a very crucial role in negotiating and selling the much coveted State Administrative Jobs to the candidates for heavy sum of hard-cash.
“We have collected incriminating documents and even a compact disc that reveal that Vijay Kumar acted as the principal agent of former JPSC chairman Dilip Prasad when it came to collecting hefty sums from job aspirants and even ensured that they cleared the written papers and viva voice for the various exams conducted by JPSC,” the top official M.V. Rao at Vigilance Bureau told the journalists at that time.
During the course of Vigilance Investigation, it was also found that the arrested JPSC accused went far beyond the appointment of State Administrative Officials. Their fraudulent ways also influenced the selection of Engineers, Teachers, Cooperative Officers, Bazar Samiti Officials, University Lecturers for Ranchi University and Sido-Kanhu University; in addition the filling up of many other Government Posts during their tainted JPSC tenure. So with their acts they also played havoc with countless students studying in the various Universities of the Jharkhand; what kind of stuff these University Lecturers (who bribed their way) would teach to our future generation, it is anybody’s guess?
Till recently, the Vigilance Bureau have scrutinized the examination copies of around 112 successful students and it was found that out of that the appointment of the 35 candidates were found to be wrongful. For instance, the Vigilance Officials pointed out that Roshan Kumar Sah, who had topped the Second JPSC Examination; he had secured only 80 marks in one of the paper, however his marks were shown as 180 marks. During the course of investigation, it was found out that the “actual-marks” scored by many successful candidates were marked-up, to help them get ahead of the genuine candidates. The list of the successful candidate in the said JPSC Examination reads like who-is-who of the influential people of the Jharkhand State. Based on the Vigilance Report the services of 39 Officers were terminated by the State Government. The officials in Vigilance Bureau told the journalists that many more officials, who have allegedly bribed their way into the state services; in the coming months they too are likely to face the music, if the State Government grant the permission to go ahead with the case.
In total around 9 to 10 appointment cases, all related to JPSC are being probed by the State Vigilance Bureau. As it is alleged that the arrested ex-members and Chairman of JPSC used nefarious and illegal means to get their friends, relatives and other influential (read people with deep pockets and political clouts) candidates get the much-preferred jobs in the various departments of the Jharkhand State Government. No doubt these Sarkari Naukari at Jharkhand offered good salary, job-security, power, prestige, the additional but unmentionable perks, all these and much more that too without the added pressure to perform and show good results. Perhaps one of the reasons why Jharkhand continue to lag far-far behind in the Economic Developmental Race, notwithstanding the tall claims put forward by our Political Leaders and their cronies.
It was but natural the conduct of the investigation by the Vigilance Bureau was not going to be smooth affair, more so with the involvement of so many rich and powerful people. The delay in part of the JPSC to furnish the required documents, the missing examination papers, number of absconders, behind the scene political and other pressures, etc were only some of the hurdles mentioned here, that Vigilance Bureau headed by Niyaz Ahmed (now retired I.P.S.) and his entire team encountered during the course of investigation of JPSC Scam. One must acknowledge that he and his Vigilance team have done a really commendable and praiseworthy job so far.
However, with the recent retirement of Niyaz Ahmed, we can only pray that the investigation process on JPSC Scam does not get derailed, or get slowed down, or get swept under the carpet. Hopefully, the JPSC Scam investigation would reach its logical conclusion in the near future, ultimately justice would prevail and guilty would be punished.
Till that moment, we would keep our fingers crossed.
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