Credibility of APSC should be brought back

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“The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness.”
– John Donohue

It is an open secret that if one has to get a lucrative job it depends upon the ability of the
candidate to pay. There are many in the Assam government as civil servants and highly
placed bureaucrats on the strength of ‘merit’ backed by money. The cash-for- job scam in
APSC has just confirmed what already was in the public domain. The civil service
examination conducted by APSC is the toughest exam; it is even tougher than the UPSC
exam. The scam has been an embarrassment for the previous Congress government but it has
proven to be a test for the BJP-led government in Assam. Until now more than 100 officers
are under the scanner and more than 37 officials have been summoned by the police. During
the course of investigation additional SP of Dibrugarh Surjit Singh Panesar has received two
phone calls in a few days and SMSs threatening to eliminate him if he does not stop
investigation into the scam. The official said that the SIM card of the phone number used to
threaten Panesar seems to have been issued in Meghalaya. The first call came on February 10
last, the day when Panesar summoned a former minister of the erstwhile Congress
government for his alleged involvement in the scam.

Inspite of the seriousness of the case which put in doubt on the merit of many candidates and
youth who applied for the jobs under it annually, Gauhati High Court has to grant bail on
August 31 to 10 accused persons. Among the 10, six have got bail due to the inability on the
part of the investigation to submit a charge-sheet against them. Suspended APSC members
Samedur Rahman and Basanta Doley, assistant controller of examinations Pabitra Kaibarta,
commission officials Syed Mosraf Hussain and Abbas Ali Ahmed, and assistant engineer of
town and country planning department Naba Kanta Patir were among those who were granted
bail. It was their arrest that had unearthed the whole scam. Besides, three ACS officers-
Bhaskar Dutta Das, Amrit Jyoti Sarma and Bhaskar Chandra Deva Sarma -who were arrested
later on charges of paying for their selections and Rahman's personal security officer Mabud
Ali Choudhury were granted bail as well on at least two sureties bonds amounting to Rs 2
lakh each.

Earlier, Dibrugarh Police had charge-sheeted all of them in the case. The court, however, set
certain conditions for their bail grants. Those who have passports were ordered to submit it
before a court as well as asked to seek permission from the court before leaving the city or
travelling to other locations. The court has also asked them to co-operate in the police
investigation and to appear before the cops whenever asked. The scam should be brought to a
conclusion as soon as possible so that the credibility of the APSC is brought back. The
established fact that the corrupt can get away with everything and anything should be
shattered. Let the common people also aspire to be placed better in life on the strength of
merit and not on ‘merit’ as defined by the likes of disgraced former APSC chairman Rakesh
Paul.

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