Recruitment exams: Ex-SSC official, auditor get 3-yr jail for irregularities
The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday awarded three-year jail to former Staff Selection Commission (SSC) deputy regional director Naveen Sehgal and Satish Kumar Ahlawat, former senior auditor, Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA), Sector 9, Chandigarh, in a case registered in April 2012 following irregularities in written exams for various posts in central police organisations.
“Corruption by public servants has now reached a monstrous dimension in India. Its tentacles have started grappling even the institutions created for the protection of the republic,” said Sushil Kumar Garg, special judge, CBI court, Chandigarh, while pronouncing the sentence.
The court also imposed a fine of ₹4.5 lakh on Sehgal and ₹2 lakh on Ahlawat. The CBI had booked the two along with 10 others, who were acquitted by court on March 3.
Seeking strict punishment for the duo, public prosecutor KP Singh said: “Public servants have a moral obligation to serve the country and its citizens with utmost honesty. Taking a lenient view in such like matters sends a very wrong message.”
Agreeing with the public prosecutor and dismissing the duo’s prayers of leniency, the CBI court said: “Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would be more harmful to the justice system to undermine the public confidence in efficacy of law.”
Terming corruption as “cancer” and “plague” in a civilised society, court said: “Proliferation of corrupt public servants could garner momentum to cripple the social order if such men are allowed to continue to manage and operate public institutions.”
Sehgal was booked in April 2012 along with 11 others for abusing his official position and committing forgery and criminal misconduct, in connivance with others, by manipulating the conduct of the examinations held for recruitment of sub-inspectors in central police organisations, intelligence officers in the Narcotics Control Bureau and assistant sub-inspectors in the Central Industrial Security Force.
A case under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) read with 511 (offences punishable with life imprisonment), 468 (forgery) read with 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code, and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered.
The CBI said that out of 16 candidates whose seating plan was adjusted, so as to enable them to appear from the same room, seven candidates turned out to be all-India toppers. The chargesheet was filed in October 2013 after two accused, Saurab Kant, partner of Softpro Consultants, who was accused of manipulating the seating order, along with Rajpal, a beneficiary, turned approvers for the CBI.