SIC chargesheets 19 in APSSB cash for job scam

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Nov 23:  The Special Investigation Cell (SIC) of the state’s vigilance department has charge-sheeted 19 persons allegedly involved in the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) examination cash-for-job scam case.

The SIC had registered the case on 16 February, 2020.

In a press briefing on Monday, SIC SP M Harsha Vardhan disclosed that the main chargesheet (FIR No. 3/20 of SIC PS) was filed with the Sessions Court, Yupia in the LDC case, based on facts revealed during investigation.

Among the charge-sheeted are former APSSB undersecretary and main accused Kapter Ringu, Yabi Ringu, Tame Yasum, Yapi Godak, Yamak Dui, Taba Kutung, Taba Rinyo, Taba Apang, Surojit Das, Sultana Nasreen Banu, Mosmi Dui, Senia Bagang, Mongam Basar, Khem Raj Upadhyaya, Jumcha Lamaty, Kenjum Lendo, Tame Tania, Tame Nacham and Tai Api, the SP informed.

“It is an 860-page chargesheet, including the annexure. It has comprehensive investigation. We have also used approver evidence for the first time, which is a legal provision wherein a person(s) involved in the crime confesses and is ready to act as witness to seek pardon from the court,” the SP said.

As per the forensic data analysis from the seized electronic devices, the SIC has managed to retrieve some deleted data and messages, he informed, adding that additional deleted data from electronic devices are yet to be analyzed in the CFL, Chandigarh.

“Over the nine-month investigation, the SIC has also received approval of prosecution sanction against the government employees involved in the malpractice and of those whose names are reflected in the chargesheet,” the SP said.

“There will be a supplementary chargesheet in the case. There are a few more candidates who are under investigation and they will be appropriately dealt with under the law in the supplementary chargesheet,” he added.

In the UDC exam, the SP informed that one Moli Basar has been arrested recently and with it, the total arrested has gone up to four.

Basar is reportedly a candidate who had qualified in the examination.

“We unearthed some evidence of his (Moli Basar) involvement in the malpractice and had to call him for interrogation. However, he was not cooperating well during the investigation, and we had to arrest him to undertake custodial interrogation” the SP said.

“We had only 30 to 35 days for investigation in this case due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Despite all odds, we were able to investigate it,” he said while commending the SIC team for its hard work.

In the meantime, the main accused, Kapter Ringu’s personal bank account, with an amount of over Rs 1 crore, has been frozen by the SIC, the SP informed.

The APSSB had conducted the examination for 125 various state government posts on 2 February across the state and declared the results on 14 February, short-listing 315 candidates.

The Board came under public scrutiny after a suspicious optical mark recognition (OMR) sheet was seen doing the rounds on social media soon after the results of the exam for lower divisional clerk (LDC), junior secretariat assistant (JSA) and other posts were published on its website.

None of the markers of the particular OMR sheet had been shaded in the multiple-choice answer sheet, implying that the candidate had left the answer sheet blank. However, the candidate had been shortlisted for the skill test as per the result declared.

An investigation by the SIC revealed that numerous officials from the Board were involved in the scam where candidates had paid bribes to secure LDC, JSA and UDC jobs.

The controversy had led to the suspension of its then-secretary, SK Jain.