Kerala HC: Wider probe needed into recent PSC appointments

Dismisses anticipatory bail plea of fourth accused; says custodial interrogation of him, CPO Gokul necessary to find out source of answers

Published: 31st August 2019 05:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2019 05:19 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Expressing concern over the chances of fraud in the recruitment exams conducted by Public Service Commission (PSC) in the recent past, the Kerala High Court on Friday held that a very efficient and wider investigation into the recent appointments in government services is necessary to rebuild the trust and credibility of the commission.

Justice B Sudheendra Kumar said the public believes that only deserving people obtain appointment through PSC exams. But the incident in which three SFI leaders scored top marks in the exam by committing fraud was disappointing. “The question papers of the PSC, in respect of a particular examination, will not be available outside the examination hall until the completion of the exam. In this case, the accused, who wrote the exam, could obtain the answers while sitting in the exam hall. This could not be done without the aid and assistance of another person, who had access to the question papers,” observed the court.

The court issued the order dismissing the anticipatory bail petition filed by D Safeer of Kallara, Thiruvananthapuram, fourth accused in the PSC exam fraud case involving SFI leaders of University College, Thiruvananthapuram. According to the prosecution, the petitioner had sent the answers to SFI leaders Sivarenjith, P P Pranav and A N Nazeem from his phone. 

The PSC conducted the examination for the post of civil police officer on July 22, 2018. Safeer and fifth accused Gokul, a civil police officer, supplied answers to the SFI leaders who appeared in the exam. When the results were published, the first and second accused bagged the first and second spot, respectively, while the third accused came 28th. 

The PSC exam fraud was unearthed during an investigation into the attack against Akhil, student of University College, Thiruvananthapuram. The petitioner argued the prosecution could not state as to how he came in possession of the answers. Hence, custodial interrogation is not necessary.Public Prosecutor V Sreeja submitted that the petitioner sent answers to the first accused, Sivarenjith, through SMSes. The prosecution could not so far find out as to how the petitioner and the fifth accused could collect the answers, hence their custodial interrogation is necessary. 

The court observed that the identity of the person who passed on the answers to the accused is a fact exclusively within the knowledge of these two persons. The investigation officer will be able to identify the persons who participated in the conspiracy only after custodial interrogation. If the petitioner was granted bail, it will adversely affect the progress of the investigation, it said.The court directed the accused to surrender before the investigating officer within 10 days.

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