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PSPCL engineers' recruitment: HC issues notice to Punjab

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, February 20, 2013
First Published: 18:45 IST(20/2/2013) | Last Updated: 18:48 IST(20/2/2013)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued a notice of motion to the Punjab principal secretary (home) to file a reply in a case in which the court had stayed the appointment of about 715 posts of junior engineers (JEs) and assistant engineers (AEs) in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in August 2012.

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When a bunch of petitions filed by Bathinda resident Major Singh and others came up for resumed hearing in the court of justice Rakesh Kumar Garg, the court said that in view of the case's circumstances, it was important to implead the Punjab government as party in the case.

The court directed the state government to file an affidavit giving the proposed course of action in the case and also about its response to a report filed by the deputy inspector general (DIG), cyber crime, before the court last month.

However, appearing for the PSPCL, Punjab advocate general Ashok Aggarwal said, "We have decided to scrap the exam. We are ready to conduct a fresh examination in a timebound manner."

The petitioner had highlighted that there were news reports that the candidates who had appeared in the entrance examination on July 15, 2012, at the Patiala centre had used unfair means in the examination hall. It was submitted that as mobile phones were allowed inside the hall, candidates had done cheating by using mobile mulitimedia messaging service (MMS). It was submitted that a total of 2,900 candidates had appeared for the examination, which was conducted by a company based in Noida (Uttar Pradesh).

The court also gave liberty to the PSPCL to pass any order on account of the averments made by Rakesh Kumar Bawa, deputy secretary (recruitment), PSPCL, in his affidavit submitted to the court on February 7. In his affidavit, Bawa had stated, "The DIG (cyber crime), SAS Nagar, will continue to investigate the matter after the lodging of an FIR to identify the persons/candidates, if any, who may be involved in this misdeed."

The affidavit further read, "PSPCL/Edcil may kindly be allowed to re-conduct the written test for all categories of posts of assistant engineers (OT) and junior engineers/APA/AJSs/supervisor (instrumentation)."

"The candidates who will be identified in the final report of the DIG (cyber crime) in misdeed in the earlier written test shall be debarred from appearing in the written test or their result shall not be declared or appointment letters not issued or shall be debarred from appearing in any further test etc., as to be decided by the answering respondent based on further investigation," the affidavit stated.

Earlier, the director general of police (security and vigilance), Punjab Powercom had informed the court through his report that of the 300 successful candidates, 99 were kith and kin of PSPCL employees. He had also informed that 50% of the successful candidates for the AE examination and 59% of successful candidates who appeared for the JE examination belong to Patiala.

He had informed, "The possibility of the entire examination process being vitiated cannot be ruled out."

The case has now been posted for hearing on March 8.

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