The Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) that hires clerical staff for the city government faces allegations of a Vyapam-like scandal after complaints that it allowed some candidates to cheat during a recruitment test.
A Haryana resident has alleged that 42 candidates who cleared the initial two stages of the hiring process that started in June 2014 were either siblings or close relatives and were allowed to sit next to each other at the same exam centre.
This means they were given a free hand at cheating, he said in his complaint with the Delhi anti-corruption branch.
The board was hiring inspectors, office assistants and head clerks, among other vacant posts.
A similar complaint was filed by BJP legislator Vijender Gupta to lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung, alleging that many aspirants who scored 75% to 90% marks in the first exam were given poor marks in the second to help some “select candidates”.
He demanded a CBI investigation and asked Jung to direct the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to release recommendations of an inquiry panel that was set up after complaints from some candidates in 2015.
Gupta said a CBI inquiry is needed because the alleged scam involves people who set the questions for the exam, the press where the papers were printed, book publishers, invigilators and data operating agencies. Besides, officials of the recruitment board have to be questioned.
“The matter was probed by Delhi government’s vigilance department, besides a two-member probe panel set up by the deputy chief minister last year. The vigilance department had recommended cancellation of the exam besides passing strictures against some DSSSB officials,” he said.
“But for unknown reasons, the recommendations have been set aside and the recruitment process is still on.”
Gupta alleged that around 30 questions were “directly lifted” from a book published by an Agra publisher. “The sequence of questions in the book and the exam were identical.”
He wondered how 79 “over-aged” candidates have passed under the general category and repeated his call for a CBI inquiry.
The central agency is investigating a multi-crore college admission and recruitment scandal in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (PEB), popularly known by its Hindi acronym Vyapam. The scam has become a sore point for the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.
A scandal in the DSSSB, which reports to the Delhi government, could embarrass the ruling AAP.
The board recruits employees under the Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services (DASS) cadre, lower-rank officials in the city’s bureaucracy that has officers hired by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) at the top.