Last Updated: December 28, 2022, 12:38 IST
A transparent system for recruitment in Himachal Pradesh would be in place in the next 60 days, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Tuesday, asserting that there would be ”zero tolerance” for corruption.
His statement came a day after the state government suspended the functioning of the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission (HPSSC) in the wake of the controversy over the junior office assistant (IT) exam paper leak.
“We have come to power to unearth scams’,’ said Sukhu while addressing the first formal press conference after becoming the chief minister on December 11 following the Congress wresting the hill state from the BJP.
He said the employees of the Commission are under the scanner of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to conduct an inquiry into alleged malpractices in past exams conducted by the HPSSC.
The chief minister said that recovery of question papers of other examinations, including junior auditor and computer operator, from the house of senior superintendent of the secrecy branch of HPSSC, Uma Azad, pointed to the leak of other papers and, therefore, all examinations have been postponed.
He also indicated that more significant information would come out in the near future and lashed out at the previous BJP government, alleging that it kept its eyes shut and recruited incompetent people by compromising with merit to give jobs to the near and dear ones of the party leaders.
He cited the example of the constable recruitment examination paper leak and alleged that question papers were sold and purchased during the tenure of the previous government.
A transparent system for recruitment would be in place in the next 60 days and modalities would be worked out in a month, Chief Minister Sukhu said.
There is zero tolerance against corruption and corruption in jobs will be dealt with sternly, he stressed.
At the press conference, the chief minister parried questions on Cabinet expansion and the implementation of the Old Pension Scheme, a major poll promise of the Congress.
”I have addressed the media today in connection with the JOA (IT) paper leak and would answer the other questions in due course of time,” he said.
Sukhu said that after taking oath he had directed the police department to keep a vigil on anti-social elements instrumental in the paper leak.
Police acted on a tip-off and arrested an employee of HPSSC, her son and a tout after they were caught red-handed with the solved question paper of JOA (IT), he said.
All the six persons arrested in the JOA (IT) paper leak case – senior superintendent of the secrecy branch of HPSSC Uma Azad, her son Nikhil Azad, tout Sanjay Sharma, Neeraj, Ajay Sharma and Tanu Sharma – were on Friday sent to police remand by a local court on Sunday.
The vigilance department had received a complaint that a tout, named Sanjay, had contacted the complainant with an offer to provide him with question papers, following which a trap was laid, officials said.
The tout again contacted the complainant to meet him at NIT Hamirpur from where he took him to the house of Uma Azad, the officials said, adding the tout and the official were apprehended there and a total of Rs 2.50 lakh in cash and solved question papers were recovered.
Suspending the functioning of HPSSC, the state government on Monday stated that it appears that the Commission has not discharged its duties and responsibilities objectively and its credibility has been eroded.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)