Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president B.K. Chandrashekar on Wednesday demanded that the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) implement Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s order and conduct the re-evaluation of answer scripts and interview of candidates. He commended Mr. Siddaramaiah for initiating quick action on the issue.
Speaking to presspersons, Prof. Chandrashekar said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had found enough evidence to prosecute the former KPSC Chairman Gonal Bhimappa, member Mangala Sridhar, its officials and others, who acted as their agents under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He said the CID, in its 185-page report, had indicted these officials in the scam.
He said the CID went through 116 petitions, recorded statements of 215 witnesses, calls made from 700 mobile phones and inspected records in 75 branches of 55 banks and 337 files of the KPSC. It informed the government that the candidates were informed through phonograms about the interview dates, and sent SMS messages to them violating protocol. He also urged the government to fill the post of Chairman and two members by recruiting persons of impeccable integrity.
Terming the scam as an unlimited, organised and a shameless act of corruption by successive chairmen, one of whom was even appointed as Information Commissioner, he alleged that the CCTV was replaced with a faulty one, so that no activity was photographed. A retired official was appointed and was placed in charge of the audit and confidential section, he added.
Mr. Chandrashekar urged Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande to appoint a committee of experts for vetting the applications of private institutions that want to set up universities.
He wanted to know the progress of the review to assess the performance of 21 universities that were allowed by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government, in a hurry, against the principles of natural justice.
He sought to know the quality of education and research in the varsities and asked whether the teaching staff were undergoing biometric exercise. He alleged that the biometric machine had been removed in the Maharani’s College for Women. The Tumkur University was busy in conferring doctoral degrees, and the government did not release the land for years to it. He also came down on those who were introducing themselves as professors, even though they do not teach, and many were exhibiting their doctorates along with their names against the norm.
The Congress leader alleged that he had received 25 calls threatening him with dire consequences for speaking on the KPSC scam, and said he had informed Mr. Siddaramaiah and the Commissioner of Police about it. He said calls came from a few organisations also, but did not mention them.
He said a Kannada journalist, who serialised the scam, had also received threatening calls.