List of candidates selected to be withheld till completion of inquiry

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday announced an inquiry into alleged irregularities in the selection of candidates by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) for gazetted probationer posts. He also declared that the government will withhold the list of candidates selected by the commission till the completion of the inquiry.

Replying to a debate in the Legislative Council initiated by Janata Dal (S) floor leader M.C. Nanaiah on the alleged irregularities, the Chief Minister said the inquiry would be conducted by the appropriate investigative authority and it would be completed in two to three weeks.

Stern action would be initiated against those indicted. “We will withhold the list [of those selected] till the truth comes out,” he said

“The credibility of the KPSC and its members has come under a cloud following the allegations that they demanded huge sums as bribes from candidates for selection and that they manipulated the interviews to choose those who agreed to grease their palms. The episode will reflect on the government also though we have nothing to do with the affairs of an autonomous body like the KPSC. Hence, we cannot be silent spectators on the issue as our silence would be tantamount to supporting the corrupt people,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

Pointing out that the KPSC members could manipulate the interview as 200 marks had been allotted for it, he said the government would consider reducing the marks for the interview. He also suggested keeping the total marks secured by candidates secret till the completion of the interview process as is being done by the Union Public Service Commission.

The Chief Minister said the government would study the examination pattern of the UPSC and foolproof methods adopted by Public Service Commissions of other States to find out if they could be adopted by the KPSC to bring about transparency and reduce the scope for manipulation. He also said that disciplinary action would be initiated against three government servants who allegedly acted as agents for a KPSC member to get bribes from candidates.

Earlier, Mr. Nanaiah read out a report from The Hindu in which Mythri, an MD in Paediatrics and the topper in the ST category in the KAS exams, had alleged that she was given poor marks in the interview after she refused to heed the demand by a KPSC member for a bribe of Rs. 70 lakh for getting the post of Assistant Commissioner. He urged the Chief Minister to conduct an inquiry by speaking to all the candidates who attended the interview and to put the list of selected candidates on hold.