SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sunday ordered probe into the selection list of Jammu and Kashmir Khadi Village and Industries Board (KVIB) after her government faced strong criticism over appointment of her cousin and son of ruling PDP vice president Sartaj Madni as executive officer in KVIB.
37-year-old Syed Aroot Madni, who is CM’s cousin and son of PDP vice president, was recently appointed as an executive officer in KVIB.
His appointment has created political storm and strong criticism from the dropout candidates and netizens.
The dropped candidates have alleged that laws were flouted in the conduct of interviews. “The government called candidates for the interview with a ratio of 1:15 not 1:3 or at the maximum 1:5, which is the set norms. More candidates were called for interview to manipulate the selection for PDP Vice President’s son”.
They have filed a Right to Information (RTI) query seeking their marks in the written test and interview.
The KVIB had issued notification in October 2016 inviting applications for 101 posts including Executive Officer, Assistant Executive Officer, Publicity Officer and Field Publicity Officer for the department. The selection list was made public last week.
Sources said resorting of “unfair exams” in the appointments had already been raised by Secretary Law, Abdul Majeed Bhat in a communication to Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
They said Bhat, who had been appointed as Controller Examinations for the KVIB exams, after the written exams had written a letter to CID that while he was busy on the day of exams, he had been informed that there were “lapses” in the exams. “He had urged CID to probe whether there had been any manipulation in the exams.”
After the selection list was made public last week and after CM’s cousin and PDP VP’s son figured in the list, questions were raised on the fairness of the list with many including opposition National Conference alleging “nepotism”.
A former IAS topper and Managing Director Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC), Shah Faesal took to Facebook to demand registering of FIR.
“If it’s true that the merit list has been rigged then instead of an inquiry there should be an FIR. High time that we take those people to task who push our educated youngsters to wall and kill their confidence,” he posted.
Following the uproar, Mehbooba today directed holding of a high level inquiry into the procedural inadequacies in selection process of KVIB.
“The inquiry would be held by a committee headed by Chief Secretary and it has been asked to furnish its report in a short time,” an official spokesman said.
In a related development, Aroot Madni, who was selected as executive officer, today voluntarily declined to accept the offer of appointment from the KVIB.
After Mehbooba ordered probe, opposition NC spokesman Junaid Mattu alleged that CM and her family members were personally responsible, involved and culpable for not only the recently unearthed KVIB recruitment scam but all such rigged recruitment processes that had paved way for “illegitimate and unfair adjustment of children of PDP legislators and relatives of CM in government departments and central schemes.”
He demanded that all the recruitment processes in the State should be probed through a judicial probe and proceedings should be monitored by High Court.
Mattu also took dig at Aroot’s withdrawal from the KVIB job offer saying this indicated his recruitment was highly questionable and wouldn’t have stood the scrutiny of a probe.