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President nod to Paul trial

Rakesh Kumar Paul

Guwahati: President Ram Nath Kovind has sanctioned the prosecution of suspended chairman of the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) Rakesh Kumar Paul in the cash-for-jobs scam.

An official source said the department of personnel and training of the central government received Paul's prosecution sanction from the President's secretariat on Friday.

According to legal provisions, the investigating agency has to obtain the sanction from the President to prosecute the chairperson of any state public service commission or the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Though the police had submitted the chargesheet against Paul in its special court, Assam, on January 24 last year, in the case (number 936/2016) registered against him at Dibrugarh police station, the court had not taken cognisance of the chargesheet for want of the prosecution sanction.

"Granting of prosecution sanction by the President has paved the way for the court to take cognisance of the chargesheet against him and to proceed with his trial," the source said.

The police have charged Paul under different Sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act for giving jobs by taking bribes from candidates.

Paul was arrested on November 4, 2016, in connection with the Dibrugarh police station case, which was registered on October 27, 2016 based on a complaint lodged by a job aspirant, Anshumita Gogoi, claiming that Nabakanta Patir, an engineer, had offered her a government job through the APSC if she paid a bribe of Rs 10 lakh.

The police laid a trap and caught Patir red-handed while accepting money from Anshumita and based on his confession Paul, the then APSC chairman, was arrested.

Though Paul was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the Dibrugarh case, he is currently in judicial custody after his arrest on August 17 last year in another case registered against him at Bhangagarh police station here.

Paul had alleged that the police had framed and arrested him in the Bhangagarh case to prevent his release from jail on bail.

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