ITANAGAR, 11 Mar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday said that a process has been started to remove 42 government officials involved in “malpractices” in various exams conducted by the state public service commission.
Making a statement during the budget discussion in the assembly, Khandu also said that “since 2017, there were eleven exams conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC), in which a total of 54 people, including 42 government officials, have been arrested on allegations of malpractices.”
Terming the paper leak issue “inhumane,” the chief minister said that the government has been handling the alleged irregularities strictly by conducting a probe by the Special Investigating Cell (SIC) of the state police and later, the investigation was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The agency filed a chargesheet on 9 December last year against eight people, and another on 30 January this year against one person.
Khandu said that the government, after a meeting with the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC) in February, had written to the Gauhati High Court to designate the Yupia district & sessions court as a special fast-track court to take up the APPSC paper leak cases.
“The high court has positively responded and agreed to designate district and sessions court, Yupia as a special fast-track court to take up the APPSC paper leak cases,” he said.
On the demand for conducting exams by the UPSC, the chief minister said that the government has already taken up the issue with it and is waiting for its response.
“It will depend on whether the UPSC will agree or not to conduct exams. If they do not agree, we will have to constitute a new commission to arrange for tests,” he said, adding that the appointments of the chairperson and members of the APPSC have been cancelled recently.
Referring to the demand of the PAJSC to declare all exams conducted by APPSC “null & void” and subsequent protests by the parents of genuine candidates opposing it, Khandu clarified that the government has “no rule to declare the exams null and void as the APPSC is an autonomous body.”
“The government will ask the new commission to decide and, if required, it could seek the government’s suggestions,” he added.
The paper leak incident came to light after a candidate filed a complaint at the Itanagar police station on 29 August last year, claiming that he suspected that the assistant engineers (civil) examination paper had been leaked.
More than 400 candidates appeared for the test held on 26 and 27 August last year. (PTI)