Narco test on PSI scam accused cop key: CID petition

Published on Jul 23, 2022 12:03 AM IST

The Karnataka criminal investigation department (CID) that has filed a petition before a Bengaluru court last week to conduct a narco-analysis test on suspended additional director general of police (ADGP) Amrit Paul on Friday reiterated that the test holds key to solve anomalies in the police sub-inspector (PSI) recruitment case.

Additional director general of police Amrit Paul was arrested on June 4 on charges of allowing malpractice in the recruitment of police sub-inspector posts. (ANI)
Additional director general of police Amrit Paul was arrested on June 4 on charges of allowing malpractice in the recruitment of police sub-inspector posts. (ANI)
By, Bengaluru

The Karnataka criminal investigation department (CID) that has filed a petition before a Bengaluru court last week to conduct a narco-analysis test on suspended additional director general of police (ADGP) Amrit Paul on Friday reiterated that the test holds key to solve anomalies in the police sub-inspector (PSI) recruitment case.

Paul was arrested on June 4 on charges of allowing malpractice in the recruitment of police sub-inspector (PSI) posts. With the ADGP refusing to undergo the test, the matter is pending before the court.

A day before police filed the petition before the court to subject the officer to the narco-analysis, leaders of the Congress had made a similar demand.

A senior Karnataka police officer, on condition of anonymity, said the CID filed the petition on July 14 not due to political demands, but to get information on some aspects of the investigation.

In October, the examinations for the recruitment of police sub-inspector’s posts were held. As many as 545 candidates cleared the exam in January from a group of 54,287 candidates who had taken the writing exam. The PSI recruitment scam is the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in this recruitment.

Breaking down the investigation so far, the officer said the involvement of three groups in facilitating the malpractice has emerged so far. The first gang, which included BJP leader Divya Hagargi, was involved in answer sheet tampering using invigilators. The second gang run by Rudragouda Patil operated using Bluetooth devices to give answers to candidates during the examination, while the third gang was of police officers in the recruitment cell, who tampered with the answer sheets kept inside the strong room of the recruitment wing’s office, after taking money from candidates.

“There is not enough evidence showing any connection between the officials of the recruitment wing and the first two gangs, but a large amount of malpractice is done by the officials. They have taken money from candidates using middlemen and filled the answers in the OMR sheets which were kept inside the strongroom,” the officer quoted above said.

The probe into the involvement of the recruitment wing officials has revealed that Paul, who was heading the recruitment division when the scam broke out, was part of the malpractice. “First of all, on the day the answer sheets arrived at the recruitment wing office, ADGP Paul had given the keys of the strongroom, where the OMR sheets were kept under tight security, to Deputy Superintendent of Police Shantha Kumar,” said the officer.

Kumar then allegedly roped in first division assistant Harsha and reserve sub-inspectors (RSIs) Sridhar and Srinivas to help him switch off the CCTV and fill up the blank OMR sheets. “The strongroom can be accessed only using a biometric entry. The investigators have found multiple entries to the strongroom that night, in some cases as early as 4 am. The officers who entered the room have been arrested. Considering they entered the room at odd hours and the fact that the ADGP handed over the keys shows these officers were involved in the conspiracy,” said the officer.

However, the CID wants to have stronger evidence that could prove the ADGP’s role in the crime conclusively. The petition for narco-analysis is part of this further investigation, said the officer.

Paul is the first ADGP — the second-highest rank in the police hierarchy — to be arrested in connection with a corruption case in the state. While contesting Paul’s bail plea, the prosecution, on behalf of the CID, informed the court that former DySP Shanta Kumar, who has also been arrested in the case, had handed over 1.3 crore that he had allegedly collected from some PSI aspirants to a few individuals on Paul’s instructions. The prosecution said police needed Paul’s custody to recover that money.

Paul was arrested under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 and 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 461 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property), 471(using as genuine a forged 1) and 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

He has been placed under suspension since his arrest.

The prosecution also said that Paul had deleted some data and formatted his phone. According to the prosecution, forensic officials will retrieve the data, including messages he had exchanged with suspects in the case.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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