The APSC office in Guwahati
Guwahati, July 30: Gauhati High Court today directed the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) to file an affidavit detailing the practices and procedures followed by it while conducting the state civil services exam.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice (acting) K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice Prasanta Kumar Saikia passed the order today after hearing two public interest litigations (PILs) seeking court's intervention into alleged anomalies by the APSC in conducting the civil services exam.
The PIL (48/2015) was filed by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi and PIL 79/2015 by seven civil service aspirants who failed to qualify in the APSC's Combined Competitive Examination (CCE), 2013.
Akhil Gogoi said the court has also asked the state government to submit an affidavit on the present status of an inquiry conducted by the vigilance and anti-corruption branch of state police into properties amassed by APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul, disproportionate to his known sources of income.
"The vigilance and anti-corruption cell had conducted the inquiry in 2013 and sent the report to the state home department, which forwarded it to the personnel department. But till date no action was taken by the state government against Paul on basis of that inquiry report," said Gogoi, alleging that chief minister Tarun Gogoi was shielding Paul.
On behalf of KMSS, advocates Bijon Kumar Mahajan, Santanu Borthakur and S.B. Rahman appeared in court today. Welcoming today's order, Gogoi said both the APSC and the state government were asked by the court to submit their respective affidavits by August 14, which has been fixed as the next date of hearing.
In the 2013 civil service examinations, the results of which were declared in May this year, 90 candidates have been selected for the state civil services, 60 for police service, seven assistant registrars of co-operative societies, 11 superintendents of taxes, 13 inspectors of taxes, three labour officers, 27 assistant employment officers, 11 labour inspectors, 16 inspectors of excise and three district transport officers.
In his PIL, Gogoi has sought reforms in the APSC on the basis of recommendations made by the T.L. Barua committee, to remove the lacunae and loopholes in the APSC's examination system, action against the APSC chairman for alleged corruption and a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities.
The state government recently ordered a judicial inquiry into the alleged anomalies in the civil services exam besides entrusting additional chief secretary Subhash Chandra Das to inquire into five specific complaints about alleged irregularities in the exam. The KMSS and organisations like Assam Public Works and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), among others, are insisting on a CBI inquiry.