C’garh sets up panel to probe PSC irregularities

Reserved category student puts commission under scanner using RTI

Raipur, June 13 : The Chhattisgarh Government has set up a high-level committee to probe allegations of large-scale irregularities in the Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CPSC) and its selection process. Principal Secretary (Law) T P Sharma and Secretary (General Administration Department) Jawahar Shrivastava have been entrusted with the inquiry.

The decision follows exposure made by Varsha Dongre, a reserved category candidate, back in 2006 using the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Documents secured by her had led to registration of cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act and also to suspension of the CPSC Chairman Ashok Darbari, a former Director General of Police.

Dongre had appeared in the 2003 state civil services examinations. When the commission declared results in 2005, she was shocked to learn that despite scoring 1290.41 marks out of a possible 2250, her name did not figure in the selection list.

“As I was surfing the PSC website, I came to know that another Scheduled Caste candidate, who had secured 1276 marks, had been selected for the post of Excise Sub-Inspector. I decided to use the RTI Act to seek the detailed list and grounds on which I did not figure in the selection list,” she said. However, the commission refused to part with information sought under the provisions of the RTI Act forcing her to approach the State Information Commission. After Chief Information Commissioner A K Vijayvargiya ordered to supply the relevant details, the PSC provided the ‘information’.

“They stated that I had not filled the option for an Excise Sub-Inspector,” she said. However, Dongre claimed that in her application she had also opted for that post and asked a copy of it under the RTI Act. This led to another battle with the PSC and once again it was resolved with the intervention of the State Information Commission.

“When I received a copy of my application form, I was shocked to discover that someone had struck off the option filled in by me. While I had filled the entire form with a black pen, the option of Excise Sub-Inspector was struck off with blue ink. And the PSC had no explanation to offer for the same,” she alleged.

Subsequently, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which probed the complaint lodged by Dongre, found irregularities in the scaling process and recommended cancellation of appointments against 20 posts, including those of four deputy collectors.

“The General Administration Department (GAD) and Law Department are examining the ACB recommendations and a suitable action would be taken in due course,” Chief Minister Raman Singh said today.

Meanwhile, Dongre said recent developments in Chhattisgarh were sufficient to counter any attempt by public service commissions to insulate themselves from public scrutiny. “The RTI Act is a silver-lining”, she said adding that it was only on the information and documents secured from the PSC under the Act that such irregularities could be brought to public domain.

Of late, the Union Public Service Commission and several state PSCs have sought exemption from the purview of the law specifically about information relating to “examination and recruitment or appointment cases”.

As Dongre’s case came to light, a number of candidates who had appeared in the 2003 examinations, too went in for securing copies of their respective application forms and other relevant documents. These affected candidates also formed a state-level body—PSC Candidates Sangharsh Morcha—which is now fighting to get justice.
Meanwhile, problems continued to plague the CPSC with the police registering an FIR against Khelan Ram Jangade, acting Chairman till May this year, and ex-member Amol Singh Salam for their alleged corrupt practices in the selection of candidates.

IndianExpress.com :: C’garh sets up panel to probe PSC irregularities