The department of local government, Punjab, seems to be in no hurry to re-conduct the selection exam cancelled in the wake of recruitment scam being investigated by the state vigilance bureau (VB).
Department secretary Vikas Pratap on Thursday said he had not received government’s orders for cancelling the original examination, adding that in any case, he would seek legal advice before initiating the process to re-conduct exams.
To begin with, the department is expected to make fresh selections to 61 posts out of the 682 filled by it last year through various selection tests (held on the same day) conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh. However, many of these tests were found to be vitiated following selective leak of question papers. Over 76,000 candidates had appeared for the tests for 682 posts.
Based on the first information report (FIR) registered by the VB on April 6, the government on Tuesday cancelled the selection for the post of assistant municipal corporation engineer (32 posts), assistant municipal council engineers (19) and sub-divisional engineers (10) of the total 682 posts for which tests were held on November 15, 2015.
Sources said the probe has led the VB to conclude that other than these examinations, the selection of over 250 junior engineers to the department of local government (test held on November 15) and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (test held on November 20) were also compromised. A fresh FIR to investigate paper leak for JE examinations is expected to be registered soon, said sources.
Selected candidates feel the heat
Hundreds of candidates who were selected to other posts in the department of local government, examinations of which have neither been cancelled nor are under investigation by the VB, have been waiting for their appointment letters ever since their results were declared in December last year. Their appointment letters have been kept at abeyance when a preliminary inquiry began into the conduct of examinations in January.
The selected candidates are now running from pillar to post trying to meet senior politicians and government officials explaining their situation. Sources in the department said till now the government had ordered the cancellation of only one examination (61 posts). There is a possibility of the VB discovering that examinations to other posts were also not above board. “Hence, the possibility of handing over appointment letters to the rest of the selected candidates till the completion of VB investigation seems dim. However, in the wake of the Tuesday’s orders of cancellation of the exam, we will seek instructions from the government regarding the remaining selected candidates,” said a senior official of the department.
Other candidates pointed out that due to the VB probe, even results of the some other tests conducted by Panjab University have not been declared and in some other cases, selection tests which were to be held by the university for which applications had been invited have been cancelled.
“The government should not waste time if it is going to re-conduct all selection tests through another agency as many of us will become overage in case the fresh tests are not conducted soon,” said a candidate.