But it is confidential, says Ravivarma Kumar

Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar has given his legal opinion to the State government that had consulted him in the wake of complaints of widespread corruption in the recruitment to 362 Gazetted Probationers Group A and B posts in the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC).

“I have given my opinion to the government. But, it is confidential,” Prof. Kumar told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

Several aspirants for the posts of gazetted probationers such as Assistant Commissioners, Tahsildars and Deputy Superintendents of Police, who had written the KPSC exams and appeared for the interviews, have complained about the demand for bribes ahead of the interviews by touts claiming to be representing the KPSC members.

The announcement of the written examination marks ahead of the interview gives ample room for manipulation by the KPSC members who conduct the interviews, said the former Minister B.K. Chandrashekar, citing past instances of misuse of viva-voce to “fix” appointments by the commission.

When the marks are known ahead of the interviews, there is room for manipulation. In contrast, the UPSC withholds the written examination marks till the interviews are over.

Prof. Chandrashekar, with whom many candidates had shared a detailed account of their experience, said that most interviews were a “cruel joke” since they did not exceed three or four minutes.

“Candidates, who scored over 1,000 marks out of 1,800 in the written exams, have been — in most cases — allotted marks as low as 50 out of 200 in the interview,” he said and added that candidates who paid a bribe were given about 100 to 150 marks.

Chidananda Swamy, who figures among the high scorers in the written examination, said he was shocked and disappointed when he learnt that he had been given only 50 marks in the interview. “I have scored 1,062 in the mains. But, the marks in the interview are a setback,” he said.

Similarly, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bhalki, B.S. Malagatti, said that his son, who had scored 1,054.5 marks in the written examination, has been given only 50 marks in the interview. “We were told that the ones who paid a bribe have been given more marks to make the grade,” he said.

Prof. Chandrashekar has urged the Chief Secretary to invalidate the interviews held since April 1 this year and seek a fresh round of interviews.

Also, he has suggested that interviews should be videographed.

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