Refusing to accept a 'misleading' affidavit filed by the Punjab government about 15 doctors who are among the 312 whose recruitment by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) in 2009 is under the vigilance scanner, the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the Punjab government as to what stopped it from registering an FIR in the case till date and taking it to its logical end.
The development took place during hearing of a petition filed by advocate Jatinder Singh by a division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh.
Not accepting to take the state government's reply on record, the bench gave the last opportunity to the state to file a detailed reply within two weeks, answering questions raised by the bench, or else the principal secretary, health, would remain present in the court on the next date of hearing.
The petitioner had raised objection to the Punjab government's action of issuing no-objection certificates (NOCs) to 15 medical officers for admission to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) course-2012 from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.
It was submitted that an inquiry was pending against the medical officers and they could not be given NOCs by the state, as per the university rules.
The 15 doctors are Rajan Mittal, Isha Gupta, Mohit Bansal, Gurpreet Singh, Nisha Bhagat, Gurpreet Singh, Davinder Singh, Shally Arora, Rohit Goyal, Anudeep Gill, Gagandeep Singh, Sandeep Singh, Rohit Rampal, Pargat Singh and Seema Jassal.
As per the post-graduate education notification issued by the state, 40% of the seats are filled through direct recruitment and 60% through in-service candidates. In case of in-service medical officers, the state government is required to issue the NOC that no departmental or vigilance inquiry is pending against the candidate.
On the previous date of hearing, the high court had asked the state government to inform as to whether any inquiry was pending against the 15 candidates. However, in its affidavit submitted by the government before the division bench on Friday, it was stated that "no vigilance inquiry is pending".
Objecting to the government's statement, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, appearing for the university, said, "I am pained and anguished that the affidavit is blatantly false. How could lack of responsibility be shown by the state government by filing such a reckless affidavit?"
Gupta took the court through the preliminary investigation report of the Vigilance Bureau into the case and said it was "pervasively and mysteriously corrupt selection".
He added that in the main case, which was still sub judice in the high court, he was appearing for former DGP KPS Gill and till date a chargesheet had not been filed as no FIR was registered in the case.
Gupta asserted that in the vigilance inquiry, it had come out that the candidates under the scanner had withdrawn Rs. 2.5 crore and exchanged more than 250 mobile calls and SMS with PPSC members on the day of the interview.
The case would now come up for hearing on May 29.