A senior official who could have halted the illegal hiring of physical training instructors (PTIs) in government schools instead pitched in to sign the appointment letters for those who had never even applied for the job.
The HT had reported on Saturday and Sunday on the illegal recruitment of at least 70 PTIs, with education minister Sikandar Singh Maluka and director of public instructions (secondary education) Kamal Garg accepting that there had been "irregularities" and promising an investigation. The appointment letters carry two signatures, one of DPI Kamal Garg and the other of deputy director of education Pankaj Sharma, who was later shifted to the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) from the DPI's office.
In July 2011, Pankaj was on the counselling team led by her colleague, the-then deputy director of secondary education, Neelam Bhagat. She (Pankaj Sharma) had access to the original merit list prepared on the basis of the 2011 counselling and could have compared it with the names of the appointees approved and signed by the DPI a year later.
Pankaj was not accessible for her version. She told HT on telephone at the first instance that she would be able to speak on the issue later in the evening. On the second call, she did not pick up the telephone.
Appointees under scanner
All 849 appointees as PTI are the focus of an "inquiry" that was initiated two months ago, going by the assertions of education minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, who had stated on Sunday that he had ordered this investigation two months ago.
The result of the "two-month-old inquiry" is yet to come out. Some district education officers (DEOs) told HT on telephone that they had received a circular from the DPI's office not to confirm the regularisation of the newly appointed PTIs who had joined in the past one year, till further orders.
53 who never applied
Shivdev Singh (Patiala), Roopjit Kaur, Jasvir Kaur, Ranjit Singh (Patti), Malkeet Kaur, Harbhagwan Dass, Lakhwinder Singh (Sardulgarh), Nirmal Singh (Sardulgarh), Gurpreet Singh (Faridkot), Kamaljeet Kaur, Gurpreet Singh (Patran), Rajinderpal Kaur (Sunam), Avtar Singh, Gurjeet Kaur (Amritsar), Jatinder Singh (Khanna), Gursharn Singh, Gagandeep Singh (Hoshiarpur), Archana Sudha (Mukerian), Asha Rani (Sunam), Manjeet Kaur (Moga), Navneet Singh (Dhuri), Kiranjeet Kaur (Phul), Balwinder Singh (Sardulgarh), Bhupinder Singh (Gurdaspur), Gurpreet Singh (Amloh), Swarn Singh (Sardulgarh), Major Singh, Arshdeep Kaur, Kulwinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Vikram Sharma (Abohar), Chander Mohan (Fazilka), Bhupinder Singh (Moga), Amandeep Kaur (Batala), Ranjeet Singh, Gurpreet Singh (Batala), Surjeet Singh (Bathinda), Amandeep Kaur, Gursharn Kaur (Ludhiana), Navdeep Kaur (Amritsar), Rajinderpal Kaur (Bathinda), Manjit Singh (Bathinda), Urmila, Yogesh Kumar, Sewak Krishan, Tarsem Singh (Gurdaspur), Charnjeet Singh (Mansa), Gurpreet Singh (Nawanshahar), Kuljeet Kaur (Amritsar), Ashok Kumar (Nawanshahar), Manpreet Kaur (Patiala), Dharminder Kaur (Ropar), and Rajwinder Kaur.
Three not even 12th pass: Gurdeep Singh, Jasbir Singh and Gurmeet Singh
(Addresses of many missing in the details procured under the RTI Act)