Is Crime branch deliberately sitting over recruitment scam in legislative council?

Syed Junaid Hashmi

JAMMU, Nov 21: Recruitment scam which prevented BSF Competitive Examination Topper Nabeel Wani from getting a Job in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council (JKLC) is yet to be probed in-depth and those who got their servants and relatives recruited through backdoor are yet to be penalised for the reasons best known to the investigating agencies.

From Crime Branch to State Vigilance Organisation (SVO), agencies are mum over alleged incriminating evidence available with them. Neither main accused nor those who aided and abetted the crime have been either called for questioning or issued notices by the Crime Branch. According to details available, against 25 non-gazetted posts, the legislative council secretariat appointed 25 people who were either workers or servants of 5 Congress ministers, 4 National Conference (NC) Ministers and 1 Bureaucrat.

11 of the 25 appointed were all recommended by the then Law Minister Mir Saifullah, sources said, adding that the law ministers did not allow the then Secretary to go purely by merit but ensured that all the 11 persons recommended by him are appointed in the legislative council. TSL News Network has accessed the documents on the basis of which selection was made. The documents bear testimony to the fact that rules were bent to selected undeserving candidates.

The BSF examination topper who was also a topper in the order of merit was dropped and on his place, son of prominent and well-connected political worker was adjusted. Nabeel had secured 79.46 percent marks and should have been selected but the council secretariat under the orders of a powerful politician threw Nabeel out and selected son of a prominent social activist who was known to the then Council Chairman. He was appointed despite securing just 60%. Moreover, the candidate who was an M.Sc student had applied for the post of translator despite being ineligible.

Urdu was mandatory for the post but the criterion was relaxed for selecting the then Chairman’s known boy. Not only was Nabeel denied the job but most of those who got the Job in the council secretariat had no such academic qualification, which could have led to their selection. But the secretariat created provision for them by awarding them marks in the Viva which was held in private and without informing most of the other applicants.

Normally viva carries 15 to 20 points as only two to three experts interview the candidate and it’s the academic excellence and written tests which matter but in this case, set norms were floated with impunity. Even, Public Service Commission and other district level recruitment committees assign 15-20 points to viva but all these norms were floated. According to the sources privy to this entire process, the beneficiaries of this recruitment scam include several cabinet ministers of the previous NC-Congress coalition government.

The posts of translators, reporters, Photostat Assistant and Class IV were advertised on 07-08-2013 but they were not given wide publicity. No advertisement notice was published in any leading newspaper. One single newspaper having limited circulation published the advertisement after which it was re-advertised but the same newspaper published it again. The aim, according to insiders was to ensure that the number of applicants could be restricted.

Insiders said that the posts were created with the sole objective of adjusting servants and political workers of the influential people in the corridors of power. According to the details, the council secretariat had through order no 15598/LD (PAB) of 2013 Dated 17-04-2013 said that the quota would be filled up by the council secretariat directly on the basis of selection to be made by the selection committee to be constituted by the then legislative council Chairman.

The committee was to have an officer of the department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs not below the rank of additional secretary to be nominated by the administrative department and two members from the council secretariat.  However, May 23, 2013; state government issued corrigendum to this order saying “the posts in the direct quota shall be filled up by the council secretariat on the basis of selection to be made by a selection committee to be constituted by the chairman of legislative council”

However, an insider said that recruitment committee was bypassed and wasn’t even allowed to publicize the list. “We were given list of 25 candidates and were asked to sign it,” he confessed. According to advertisement notice, only those candidates were eligible who had Urdu as one of the subject in Graduation but those who were later appointed as translators and reporters who don’t even know how to read and write Urdu.