Verify claims of graft, favouritism in selection of candidates via Chhattisgarh PSC exam: HC

The Chhattisgarh High Court on Wednesday directed the government to verify the allegations made in a petition that 18 candidates selected in the state Public Service Commission examination 2021 are relatives of the recruitment body’s officer-bearers, high-ranking government officials, politicians and prominent businessmen.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice NK Chandravanshi in Bilaspur gave the direction while hearing a writ petition filed by senior BJP MLA and former state Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar.

During hearing on the plea on Tuesday, the state government said the matter will be thoroughly investigated and based on the outcome, a response will be submitted to the court, according to an official statement.

The government said it will not proceed ahead with respect to the candidates under the scanner and they will not be issued appointment orders.

Of them, those who have been appointed to the posts for which they were selected, their appointment will be subject to the HC order,

The petition, heard on Tuesday and Wednesday in the HC, demanded a high-level probe, preferably by the CBI, into the selection of these candidates.

The plea stated the result of the Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission exam 2021 shows relatives of CGPSC Chairman Taman Singh Sonwani, its secretary and kin of influential politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists have been selected for different posts in government departments on account of corruption and favouritism.

There is a “huge scam” in the PSC exam 2021 and the general public has been raising demand for a CBI inquiry into it and cancellation of the entire recruitment test, it contended.

As per the plea, a total of 171 posts under 20 categories of government services were advertised by CGPSC in 2021. The PSC 2021 Mains Examination was held on May 26, 27, 28, 29, 2022. Its result was declared and 509 candidates were selected for interviews.

Interviews was held from September 22, 2022 to September 30, 2022 and the list of selected candidates was issued on May 11 this year, said the petition.

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The state government, in the statement, said, “The petition concerning PSC selection was heard before the High Court, and as per the information received from the Advocate General’s Office, the state government has given a statement before the court that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and based on the investigation, response will be submitted to the court.”

The government told the HC that till the next hearing, appointment of the candidates under the scanner will not be finalized and those who have been appointed (some of them have been issued necessary job orders) will be subjected to the court order.

The HC has directed the state Government and the PSC to verify the authenticity of the claims enlisted by the petitioner, it said.

The petitioner has been directed to make the selected persons a party in the case and make the prescribed amendments in his plea.

The HC posted the matter for next hearing on October 5.

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