Indicted by a special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the Punjab and Haryana high court to probe fraudulent recruitment of medical officers in 2008-09, Congress ex-MLA and former Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) member Satwant Singh Mohi on Thursday joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Mohi was a PPSC member when 312 medical officers were recruited amid allegations of gross irregularities and favouritism. A special investigation team (SIT) submitted its report on the job scam in the court last year.
The SIT had recommended the registration of a case against him for amassing disproportionate assets during his tenure as a PPSC member (2006 to 2011). Mohi, however, challenged the report and the matter is still pending in the court.
Even as Mohi on Thursday said he quit the Congress due to infighting in the party, his induction into the SAD has raised several questions about his intent. He joined the SAD in the presence of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and other Akali ministers in Chandigarh.
Interestingly, Mohi had been elected MLA from the Shutrana assembly constituency in 1985 on the SAD ticket, but joined the Congress in 1999, at the time when Capt Amarinder Singh was appointed president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).
When contacted, Mohi said the Congress had ditched its workers, especially Dalits.
“Top posts are given to those who do not even have primary Congress membership. Moreover, infighting within the party is taking a toll on workers, who are feeling ignored,” he claimed.
Mohi was appointed as a PPSC member in May 2006. His name cropped up in the recruitment of medical officers amid glaring irregularities after former Punjab DGP KPS Gill in 2010 filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the high court, seeking a thorough probe in the selection process. The Punjab vigilance bureau, then headed by DGP Sumedh Singh Saini submitted a report into the scam, indicting all the members of the PPSC for irregularities and rampant corruption in the recruitment process.
The high court ordered the constitution of an SIT to further probe the scam. In its report submitted in the HC, the SIT found that rules were altered during the interview and alterations were made while evaluating answer sheets.
The report also mentioned Mohi’s disproportionate assets, besides revealing exchange of SMSes and calls between him and selected candidates or their relatives.
“The matter is sub judice and therefore I cannot say anything on this,” Mohi said.