Wednesday, 22August2018

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Retd Army officer takes charge as APSC chief

Guwahati: A retired Brigadier of the Army on Thursday took charge as the chairman (in-charge) of the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) which has been rocked by a cash-for-job scandal for almost a month now.

The state government on Wednesday upgraded one of the members of the commission, Brigadier (retd) Ranjit Borthakur, as the chairman in-charge for a clean-up job in the APSC.

An alumnus of Sainik School Goalpara, Borthakur said he is seeking legal opinion from the state government for cancelling the examinations for at least 14 posts for which interviews were conducted by the jailed members of the commission and whose results are yet to be declared.

"We may also postpone examinations for nine other posts. There is a clean-up job to be done and lot of work is pending. This is a big challenge for me," Borthakur told TOI after he taking charge at the commission office in Khanapara here.

Besides arrested chairman Rakesh Paul, the two other members who have been arrested are Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley. While Paul and Rahman are in judicial custody, Doley is still in police custody. Police have also arrested controller of examination Pabitra Kaibarta who is also in jail now.

The cash-for-job racket was exposed by a woman doctor who called up Dibrugarh Police after being offered a job in exchange of cash. Last month, the state cabinet approved suspension of Paul and has forwraded its recommendation to the governor who has sent it to the President for sanction.

The APSC has a total strength of seven members. At present, only three members — Brigadier (retd) Borthakur, Anupam Kumar Roy and Dhruba Hazarika (redtd IAS officers) — are untouched by the scandal. The lone slot for a woman member is vacant.