Following two inquiry reports that raised questions about the recruitment of assistant and junior engineers last year, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has decided to scrap the process apart from getting a first information report (FIR) registered.
The corporation's board of management, which met on February 6, scrapped the recruitment process for 385 posts of assistant engineer and 330 posts of junior engineer. The inquiry reports found that the question paper was leaked from the examination centre through mobile multimedia messaging service (MMS) and candidates took help of short messaging service (SMS) to answer queries. Nearly 14,000 candidates had appeared in last exam held in July 2012.
The PSPCL had outsourced the examination process for shortlisting candidates through the written test. A civil writ petition is also pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court, challenging the selection process.
Director general of police (security and vigilance) Sanjeev Gupta had conducted the first inquiry and found that the question paper was leaked, as some students had alleged. On the basis of this inquiry, some candidates approached the high court for scrapping the process.
Later, a detailed inquiry conducted by a deputy inspector general-level officer also found that prima facie it had been established that more than 10 candidates had taken help from outside the centre to solve the paper.
"We had discussed this report at our meeting on February 6. I have asked the chief engineer (human resource development) to inform the court that the PSPCL management has resolved to register an FIR in the case and the entire recruitment process has been scrapped. We will conduct a fresh test in coming days after getting nod from court," said KD Chaudhary, CMD, PSPCL.
Some PSPCL officials said that though the management was not fully convinced with the reports of the DGP and DIG, the decision to scrap and re-conduct recruitment was taken to put doubts to rest.
"The FIR and subsequent investigation would bring out the truth," said Suresh Kumar, chief engineer (HRD). He said that he would file an affidavit in the high court on Tuesday (February 19), the next date of hearing.
The PSPCL had made the final selection list, but did not issue letters as the matter is pending in the HC.
The exam would now be held under camera surveillance and by placing mobile-signal jammers, besides physical frisking.