Cash-for-job scam: 15 civil services officers arrested

Guwahati: As many as 15 civil services officers were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the cash-for-job scam in Assam Public Service Commission (APSC).

“During our course of investigation, we sought opinion from experts regarding answer scripts of 25 candidates. The Forensic Science Laboratory gave their views on them,” Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay told PTI.

Accordingly, police have arrested 15 officers till now in an operation that started from midnight across Assam, he added.

“We are now looking for 10 other officers. Some of them are out of state for various trainings,” Sahay said.

Out of the 25, 13 are in Assam Civil Services, seven in Assam Police Services and rest are engaged in other civil services, he added.

“We will now produce them in the court as mandated by the law. Whether we will seek their remand or not, will be decided by the investigating officer only,” the top cop said.

The DGP expressed satisfaction that the investigation is going on in the right direction in the “most transparent” manner unearthing “reliable, admissible and acceptable” evidences to prove the wrongdoings by the accused.

These accused were appointed by the APSC after the controversial civil services examination of 2015 batch.

When asked if the scope of the probe will be extended beyond 2015, Sahay said, “Investigation is happening in layers. Only after we complete one, we can go to another. We also need to have hard evidence.

“Number of investigating officers are limited. Above that, we have very limited number of experts. Our mandate is to prove the cynics wrong,” he said.

APSC’s former Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul was arrested on November 4 last year, followed by two members — Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley.

It was followed by arrest of the Assistant Controller of Examinations of APSC, Pabitra Kaibarta.

Some more officials and persons were arrested in the following period regarding the APSC job scam, for which the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government is being severely criticised by people and various groups.

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Sahay had earlier informed that at least Rs 50 lakh cash were seized from Paul along with identification of some “benami” properties of him.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today welcomed the arrests.

In an official statement, he reiterated the state government’s commitment of zero tolerance against corruption and asserted that the fight against this social evil will continue.

He lauded the police for arresting the ACS, APS and allied service officers from different parts of the state.

Sonowal also directed the police to speed up operation to nab all the accused officers.