Large-scale irregularities have come to light in the departmental promotion examination conducted in Haryana in February last year.
To further probe the extent of irregularities and involvement of the officials, the Punjab and Haryana high court has appointed a three-member committee.
The examinations called as State Administrative Service (SAS) Paper-I and Paper-II were conducted by Haryana Institute of Public Administration, Gurgaon in February 2014 in which as many as 800 employees of the state had appeared. Out of these, 165 employees were declared pass by HIPA in the results announced in July and October 2014.
The clerks working in different departments are eligible to participate in examination and those declared pass are appointed as section officers (SOs) in various government departments.
The high court, while hearing a bunch of petitions, found that there were cutting and overwriting in answer sheets while awarding marks and also inconsistency in awarding marks for same answers in successful and other candidates.
3-MEMBER COMMITTEE TO PROBE THE MATTER
A three-member committee formed to probe the matter includes two lawyers Sachin Jain and Gagandeep Singh Rana and a senior officer to be designated by the director, treasury and accounts department, Haryana.
The committee has been asked to re-calculate the marks awarded to different candidates in the answers attempted by them in all papers and also cutting/over-writing in the marks awarded to different candidates for answers while specifically noticing the marks secured by that candidate in the paper and total aggregate marks obtained by him. The committee would also point out the names of examiners concerned so that appropriate action could be initiated against them.
The petitioners had submitted that besides there being error in totalling the marks of the candidates in different answer sheets, there were cuttings/over-writings in the cases where the candidates were to be declared pass. The candidates had to secure minimum 40% marks in each subject and 45% aggregate marks.
A petitioner had approached the high court in December after obtaining his and some of the successful candidates’ answer sheets under the Right to Information Act. On February 23, the court directed the state government to produce all the answer sheets of both the examinations and upon seeing large-scale irregularities appointed the committee to examine all the answer sheets.
Lawyers for petitioners, Gaurav Jain and Jagmohan Bansal, had pointed out that besides cutting and over-writing what was intriguing was the fact that marking scheme for the papers was not practiced by HIPA and even after the petitioners pointed out anomalies, the result was declared.
As per the lawyers, 186 employees’ names were cleared by HIPA for promotion to SOs out of 550 who appeared in Paper-1 examination. In the case of Paper-II, 80 were declared pass from 240 candidates. Upon clearing Paper-I, the clerks are given temporary appointment as section officers, but before his regular appointment for the post, the candidate has to clear Paper-II as well. At present, it is not clear how many have been appointed as SOs by the government so far.