GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – In a significant development regarding the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) cash-for-job scam, the State Government has taken a major step towards ensuring a thorough investigation. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted, with a senior IPS officer, MP Gupta, appointed to lead the probe into the case registered at the Dibrugarh police station.
The decision to form the SIT comes in response to concerns raised by the Gauhati High Court about the scope and depth of the investigation into the APSC job scam. The court had expressed apprehension that certain candidates might have been omitted from the probe.
Additional Advocate General Nalin Kohli, during a hearing on Friday, conveyed the court’s concerns to a division bench. He informed the bench that he had communicated the High Court’s apprehensions to the Chief Minister, who subsequently directed the Director-General of Police (DGP) to establish the SIT.
The SIT notification was officially issued on Thursday, and Nalin Kohli assured that the panel, led by IPS officer MP Gupta, is expected to complete the investigation within six months. Kohli emphasized that the formation of the SIT reflects the government’s commitment to uncovering the truth and that there is no intention to protect anyone involved in the scam. He stated, “There is no intent to shield anyone or anything.”
During Friday’s hearing, Chief Justice Sandeep Mehta expressed concerns about the ongoing investigation. He suggested that many aspects of the case remained unresolved, and it appeared that the investigating officer had not thoroughly pursued certain facts. Justice Mehta remarked that it seemed as if the investigating officer had been “sitting over it.”
As part of the court’s directives, the newly formed SIT has been instructed to submit a preliminary report within six weeks. The court has specifically requested the SIT to clarify whether the decision to separate the arrested candidates from those listed in the tabulation sheet was made logically. Furthermore, the court has inquired whether the government is contemplating any disciplinary actions against officers who were seemingly left out of the initial investigation.
The SIT’s mandate also extends to investigating whether any other instances of securing selection by fraudulent means have come to light in connection with the APSC job scam.
This development follows the case of Manash Pratim Haloi, who was arrested and discharged from service but subsequently challenged his discharge order. A single bench of the court dismissed his appeal, prompting him to file a writ appeal before a division bench. In his appeal, Haloi alleged that many others involved in the scam had not been arrested, leading the division bench to hear his case along with petitions filed by other discharged candidates.
As the SIT begins its comprehensive investigation, it aims to address the concerns raised by the High Court and ensure that justice is served in the APSC job scam, shedding light on any unexplored facets of this complex case.