Cash-for-job case: Gauhati HC grants bail to main accused
The present case is related to alleged acceptance of ₹50,000 by Rakesh Paul from one Bedanta Bikash Das in lieu of getting appointed as an agriculture development officer
The Gauhati high court on Friday granted bail to former chairman of Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) Rakesh Paul in a cash-for-job case.
The decision has paved way for his release after more than six years as Paul had already been granted bail in four other cases registered against him. Details of the bail order and his release are awaited.
The present case registered in Bhangagarh police station in Guwahati is related to alleged acceptance of ₹50,000 by Paul from one Bedanta Bikash Das in lieu of getting appointed as an agriculture development officer.
Also Read: 57 civil servants dismissed after cash for job scam, Assam CM tells assembly
When Das failed to get the job, he lodged a case against Paul and another candidate who had secured appointment and sought action against them.
Paul was arrested in November 2016 and has been in prison since.
The APSC cash-for-job case had come to light in 2016 when several successful candidates including Assam Civil Service (ACS) and Assam Police Service (APS) officers who appeared in CCE, 2013 were alleged to have indulged in irregular practices in cahoots with the then APSC chairman Paul.
Following the revelations, police lodged several cases and arrested 60 serving officers from the CCE, 2013 batch. After detection of anomalies, 39 officers were terminated from service.
In April last year, a special court in Guwahati framed charges against 67 accused in the case.
While 60 of them were applicants who appeared for the civil service exams, seven others were APSC members and officials including Paul.
The same month, the Assam cabinet approved formation of a high-level committee to decide on actions to be taken with regards to irregularities committed in state civil service exams conducted by APSC in 2013.
The cabinet decision follows submission of a 700-page report by the justice (retired) Biplab Kumar Sharma commission in April, 2022 on anomalies in the combined competitive examination (CCE), 2013, results of which were declared in May, 2015.
The commission was formed by the state government following directions by the Gauhati high court.
Though the report is yet to be made public, the commission’s findings are stated to detail irregularities in answer sheets of many candidates who were declared successful allegedly in lieu of cash.
On Tuesday, the state government informed the assembly that 57 civil servants from the 2013, 2015 and 2016 batches who were arrested in the cash-for-jobs case have been dismissed from service while three other accused officers as well as three APSC officials had turned approvers.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the assembly that the Sarma commission’s report is yet to be accepted by the government and it had been forwarded to another committee for review.