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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

PPSC doctors' recruitment scam: HC forms two-member SIT to investigate case

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 22, 2013
First Published: 13:24 IST(22/11/2013) | Last Updated: 23:56 IST(22/11/2013)

 The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday constituted a two-member special investigating team (SIT) to probe the Punjab Public Service Commission's (PPSC's) job-for-cash scam in the recruitment of 312 medical officers in 2008-09.

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Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) joint director MS Bali and Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) chief director Suresh Arora are SIT members.

The division bench-comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih ordered that the SIT would conduct an "investigation" and submit the reports from time to time to the court. The court also directed that the two officers would meet before the next date of hearing on December 18 and could suggest names of other officers whom they would require to help them in the probe. The court also directed the Punjab government to provide all facilities to the SIT members.

When the case came up for hearing, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, appearing for the petitioner and former Punjab DGP KPS Gill, sought time from the court, stating that Gill was out of station since October 8 and he had to discuss the case with him. But the court said it already had taken feedback from the CBI and found Bali suitable for the SIT. When Arora's name came from the bench for the SIT, Gupta said the former was an outstanding and brilliant officer. However, the court turned down the request of senior advocate Rajiv Atma Ram, appearing for the selected doctors, for appointing a retired judge to investigate the matter.

The case

The VB, directed by the Punjab chief minister to probe the case, had submitted a scathing inquiry report to the high court in January 2011, clearly pointing out that the recruitment of medical officers was made on "considerations other than merit." In the selection made during Sanjit Kumar Sinha's tenure as the PPSC chairman, many candidates with an excellent track record were ignored by the commission. Till date, no FIR had been registered in the case and selected candidates are continuing in service.

Hence, Punjab and Haryana high court decided to constitute a “court-monitored special investigation team (SIT)” to take the case to its logical end.

The Punjab vigilance bureau (VB), directed by the chief minister to probe the case, had submitted a scathing inquiry report to the high court in January 2011, clearly pointing out that the recruitment of medical officers was made on “considerations other than merit.”

In the selection made during Sanjit Kumar Sinha’s tenure as the PPSC chairman, many candidates with an excellent track record were ignored by the commission. Till date, no FIR had been registered in the case and selected candidates are continuing in service.

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