Ranchi, June 28: Jharkhand High Court today quashed a state government order sacking former Latehar DSP Mukesh Mahto, who had been selected through the second civil services examinations conducted by the Jharkhand Public Services Commission (JPSC).
The court held the termination order against the police officer — also the brother of deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto — to be against the principles of natural justice and set it aside.
Mahto had challenged the order issued by the government in August 10, 2010, for alleged discrepancies in his answer sheets. Along with 18 others, he had been dismissed in August last year on charges of having been illegally favoured for appointment via the JPSC’s second (2007-08) civil service examinations.
The 19 officers were recalled from their postings after the state ordered the vigilance bureau on June 9 to lodge an FIR against the chairman and three former members of the JPSC for “grave irregularities, forgery, interpolation and fraud” in conducting the exams.
Mahto’s counsel Neeta Krishna and Amit Sinha argued before the court that there was no discrepancy in his answer sheets. They pleaded that Mahto was victimised and not given a show cause before the order. Several of the other candidates happened to be relatives of Godda MLA Pradeep Yadav and former JPSC members Gopal Singh and Radha Govind Nagesh.
During investigation, it was revealed that the 19 candidates did not qualify the recruitment tests on the basis of merit but had tampered their answer scripts. While Mahto and the others who were given plum postings were immediately dismissed from service, senior JPSC members were also held guilty and subjected to close scrutiny by the vigilance and suspended.
The court of Justice N.N. Tiwari, while hearing the case, was told that before termination from service, no show cause was issued to Mahto to explain his stand. The court observed that this amounted to violation of the principles of natural justice.
The high court order is likely to also affect the other officers who were terminated on similar charges.
They are BDOs Prashant Kumar Layak, Rajnish Kumar, Binod Ram, Harishankar Barik, Kanu Ram Nag, Prakash Kumar, Kumari Geetanjali, Hari Oraon, DSPs Radha Prem Kishore Harihar Singh Munda, Ravi Kumar Kujur, Shivendra and Santosh Kumar Chaudhary, finance service officers Sangeeta Kumar, Kumar Kaushlendra, Kundan Kumar Singh, and Maushmi Nagesh and Lal Manoj Nath Shahdeo of cooperative.
However, IG (vigilance) M.V. Rao told The Telegraph that the high court order would have no impact on the investigation being carried out by the vigilance in the recruitment scam. “The order does not reflect on the quality of investigation,” he said.