The SAS Nagar district police have registered a first-information report (FIR) finally in the physical training instructor (PTI) recruitment scam but four months on, more than 100 illegal appointees are still in the job.
In January, the Punjab school education department had acknowledged the scandalous appointments in own inquiry report. Based on that, the FIR lodged on March 13, the day HT reported the matter, accuses only one official, retired deputy director Neelam Bhagat, besides 16 illegal appointees.
So far, the police have not contacted Neelam Bhagat, who retired last year only, while most of the 16 PTIs accused have secured “regular bail”, a police official here has said. It was unclear whether or not the police or the education department had ever opposed the bail petitions in the court.
Till date, there is no departmental move against any official, as after the FIR, director public instructions (schools) Kamal Garg has put the entire onus of investigation on the police. Garg accepted that none of the illegal appointments has, so far, been annulled. “Many of them (the illegal appointees) have attained stay order (against the cancellation of their appointment),” he said.
“We are in the process of taking legal opinion,” Garg replied when asked to explain no challenge to the stay order, when the inquiry had established that at least 16 appointments were illegal. School education principal secretary Anjali Bhawra also said now it was up to the police to investigate.
ACCUSED SHOCKED, POINTS AT DPI
Asked to react, Neelam Bhagat, said she was shocked to know that her name was in the FIR. She said that during counselling in 2012 to finalise the list, she had written a dissent note to the DPI, objecting to the recruitment of some people who had not even applied for the post. “Why’s the DPI silent on including those applicants?” she asked.
87 NEVER EVEN APPLIED
The number of shady appointments now has reached 103, with many more names likely to be surface. Of these 103 ille g al appointees, 87 had never applied; while the others do not meet the eligibility; yet all continue to have the job.
Many of them who had not applied online attained the court’s stay against the cancelling of their appointment, arguing that in 2006, the-then principal secretary of school education had consented to entertaining their applications. The DPI also said he had heard “the rumour”.
The physical training instructors (PTIs) were hired in JulyAugust 2012 after more than four years of litigation. Hindustan Times unearthed the scam in August 2013, which led education minister Sikander Singh Maluka to say that the PTIs who had never applied would lose their job surely, while the guilty officials would be taken to task. The action remains awaited.