Assam civil service officer quits, says pained by media trial in cash-for-jobs scam

A dentist last year helped the police trap an assistant engineer in Dibrugarh taking a bribe of Rs 10 lakh for an assured job in a government hospital.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2017 16:29 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Assam civil service officer,Assam Civil Service Commission,APSC
Twenty-five tainted ACS, allied services and police officers were arrested and dismissed from service. Some more with arrest warrants are absconding.(AP File Photo)

A civil service officer in Assam has resigned, saying a trial by the media and public judgement in the wake of a cash-for-jobs scam in the Assam Civil Service Commission (APSC) that made him wear his responsibility like a curse.

The APSC scam was exposed by a dentist last year when she helped the police trap an assistant engineer in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh taking a bribe of Rs 10 lakh for an assured job in a government hospital.

The scam related to appointments in Assam civil and police services happened during the 15-year Congress rule that ended in May last year.

Ramanuj Hazarika, who was serving in north-eastern Assam’s Dhemaji as an election officer and executive magistrate, posted his resignation letter on Facebook early on Friday. He wrote he was raised single-handedly by his mother with “her meagre income as a primary school teacher” after he lost his father when he was three.

The resident of Golaghat in eastern Assam talked about his academic career and said he was a position holder in Assam Class 12 board exams and a topper of Delhi University’s Hindu College in graduation.

“... I took mostly right decisions in my life apart from the fact that I decided to appear for APSC which was never my aim,” Hazarika, alumni of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote.

“No doubt, two years in Assam Civil Service (ACS) has been an enriching journey that has broadened my perspective about life and administration; however, clearing this exam seems to be a curse in itself. No matter who you are and what your credibility is, people will always question you and you will be subjected to stupid media trial,” he said.

“When I joined ACS two years ago, I had dreams in my eyes that I will do something meaningful for the society. Two years in ACS is enough to send someone into depression ... I have been thinking of resigning from the service for quite a long time now and I discussed this with my Deputy Commissioner way back in March 2017. Today, finally, I decided to call it a quit. If I have to be blatantly honest with you, this thing doesn’t deserve your youthful energy,” he added.

“I fully believe that there should be a free and fair investigation process. Personally, I feel that such a big scam should have been investigated by a Special Investigation Team under the supervision of Supreme Court. Independence and autonomy are the need of the hour,” he added.

“Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my mother, friends, seniors and colleagues in administration, and well-wishers for their constant support and love. I will definitely return but in a larger capacity,” Hazarika signed off.

The scam led to the arrest of former APSC chairperson Rakesh Kumar Paul and seven others, including members of the commission, for doctoring the answer scripts of candidates who were “pre-selected” after allegedly paying bribes.

Twenty-five tainted ACS, allied services and police officers were arrested and dismissed from service. Some more with arrest warrants are absconding.

Officials investigating the APSC scam said the inspection of more answer scripts could make more heads roll with the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government announcing a crusade against corruption.

“The state government will not compromise with corruption. Whosoever secured jobs by shelling out money will be arrested. Those absconding cannot get away,” chief minister Sonowal said.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 12:34 IST