Bolangir job scam: Appointment of RIs, Amins to be null & void

Bolangir: Two years after the alleged gross irregularities in the recruitment of Revenue Inspector (RI) and Amins in the district, the State government has decided to declare the whole recruitment process null and void.

After obtaining the views of the Law department in this regard, the Revenue and Disaster Management department has shot off a letter to the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Northern Division, asking him to take follow up action as per the instruction.

“After considering all aspects, including the views of the Law Department, government has been pleased to make the recruitment of RIs/ARIs & Amins during the year 2013 for Bolangir district null and void,” the letter read.

The complainants, who have been demanding scrapping of the recruitment, demanded speedy action after the government letter.

“In the letter, it is clearly mentioned that recruitment of RI/Amin held in 2013 should be declared null and void. Now, it is the collector who has to act on it. We have met him and demanded to proceed as per the letter,” said Lingaraj Patel, a complainant.

On the other hand, deserving candidates, who have been given the appointment after successfully clearing the test, have landed in trouble following the government decision. Fearing loss of their jobs, they are preparing to stage a protest against the latest development.

“Some have acquired the post through illegal means, but not all. So, the government should first conduct a thorough inquiry and find out the erring persons. If it is not done, all the deserving candidates, who are now in the job, will lose their service. We will protest against such a decision of the government and may move court, if required,” said Surendra Bhoi, one of those recruited through the test in 2013.

“How can government find that all the candidates are not deserving for the post?” he asked.

Bolangir Collector M Muthukumar said that he would act as per the order of RDC.

“The letter has been dispatched to the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), northen division. So, he will take a call on it and I will act accordingly,” Muthukumar said.

In the massive scam that took place in 2013 , some top officials including the then Collector of Bolangir Debraj Mishra and his senior clerk Niranjan Tripathy were arrested in 2014 and 2015 respectively by the vigilance while five other OAS officers, including a deputy collector, a tehsildar and two Block Development Officers (BDOs) were also booked.

Gross irregularities were found in the recruitment during Mishra’s tenure as collector between August 2012 and July 2013 in the district.

It was an RTI query that nailed the officials. The startling revelations about the irregularities first led to a Vigilance inquiry and then a Crime Branch probe.

The Vigilance report had stated that the candidates were awarded marks as per the order of the Collector. The report had revealed that the candidates, who had secured two marks in computer practical test, were given 93 marks while the candidates who had secured 98 marks were awarded zero marks as per the advice of Mishra during the revision of answer sheets, which was conducted by the employees not engaged in the examination earlier.

Besides, the Vigilance officials had also found that the candidates securing zero marks and others who had not attended the physical test, had been given appointment.