The Punjab vigilance bureau has registered two fresh FIRs in a scam wherein candidates got access in advance to question papers of the tests conducted for government jobs in different departments.
The recruitment scam that began with a probe into hiring 682 people in the department of local government (DLG), also brought under scanner the process adopted for filling several posts in Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation (PUNSUP) and Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).
While the recruitment for local government and PUDA took place in November 2015, the PUNSUP made selections for several posts in March-April 2015. Selection tests for these departments were conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, on behalf of the state government.
The question papers in these cases were selectively leaked allegedly by the same set of persons who procured them from a common contact in Lucknow. The question papers were sold to a handful of candidates for a price ranging between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, who sold them further to other candidates for similar amounts.
The VB had registered the FIR in the scam on April 6 following a preliminary inquiry that found that question papers of tests for posts of assistant municipal corporation engineer, assistant municipal council engineers and sub-divisional engineers (out of the total 682 posts) had been leaked. As many as five persons have been arrested in the case. The same FIR has now been buttressed to include investigation into recruitment of 180 posts of junior engineers (JEs) in the department.
According to the VB, for the post of junior engineer in the local government department, a selection test was held in November 2015 and Ajay Sharma, a candidate from Malout (already arrested), was allegedly asked by a municipal councillor to get in touch with another Malout resident Amit Sagar (also arrested) to access the question paper. Sagar procured the question papers allegedly through PUNSUP employee Amandeep Singh of Bathinda, who had already established a channel of procuring PU question papers from a contact in Lucknow (name withheld) for his own selection test in PUNSUP earlier in the year.
The second FIR was registered on Tuesday to investigate the alleged leak of question papers for selection to the posts of Inspector grade -1 and senior assistant (accounts) in PUNSUP. According to the VB, Amandeep allegedly bought the question papers from Lucknow for himself and his sister. He further sold it to at least two candidates. Other than Amandeep, two candidates from Mansa and Sangrur also procured the question paper directly from Lucknow. Three of these candidates, who are now posted at various posts in PUNSUP in Ludhiana, Muktsar and Bathinda, have been arrested by the VB. Another candidate Sukhpreet Singh of Bathinda (yet to be arrested), who allegedly ganged up with Amandeep, also procured the question papers for other posts and sold them to candidates directly or through Amit Sagar.
The third FIR was registered on Wednesday in connection with recruitment to posts of junior engineers in PUDA in November 2015. At least five candidates met Amandeep and Sukhpreet directly or through Amit Sagar and procured the question papers.
After the first FIR was registered, the government had cancelled the selection of assistant municipal corporation engineer, assistant municipal council engineers and sub divisional engineers in the department of local government. Now, it has also blacklisted PU from conducting any selection test for Punjab during the course of the investigation.