Karnataka

PSI recruitment scam: ADGP Amrit Paul arrested, to be in CID custody till July 13

 Amrit Paul

Amrit Paul | Photo Credit: File photo

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Monday arrested Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) Amrit Paul in the police sub inspectors’ (PSI) recruitment scam case. He was heading the Police Recruitment Cell, Karnataka, when the scam broke out and it was found that the OMR sheets were allegedly tampered with in the office. The CID arrested him after questioning him four times.

Hours after the arrest, the State government issued an order suspending Amrit Paul on Monday night. The order said Paul is entitled for subsistence allowance in accordance with rule 4 of the all India service rules. The order also stated that Paul should not leave the headquarters under any circumstance without the written permission of the government. He is the first ADGP-rank officer in the State police to be arrested.

The State government had transferred Mr. Paul to the Internal Security Division, replacing him with Kamal Pant, while probing his role. Earlier, P. Shantha Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, and the other staff involved in the scam had been arrested.

The CID has so far arrested over 60 persons, including the PSI exam topper, who allegedly tied up up with middlemen and officials to get the OMR sheets filled after submission.

On Monday, the CID questioned Mr. Paul and later took him to Bowring hospital for medical examination before being taken to court.

Mr. Paul, who was heading the recruitment division having its office in the CID headquarters, is now sitting in the interrogation cell on the same premises, after being taken into custody till July 13 by the CID sleuths.

The probe so far revealed that Mr. Paul had given the keys of the strongroom to his assistant Mr. Shantha Kumar, who, along with three of his associates, allegedly tampered with the OMR sheets after switching off the CCTV cameras.

Payment

According to sources, 30 aspirants had paid money, ranging from ₹30 lakh to ₹40 lakh, to Mr. Shantha Kumar to get into the toppers’ list.

Mr. Shantha Kumar allegedly roped in first division assistant Harsha and RSIs Sridhar and Srinivas to help him in different roles: from filling the blank OMR sheets to switching off the CCTV cameras.

Sources said that ever since Mr. Paul was promoted as ADGP and posted to head the recruitment division in 2020, Mr. Shantha Kumar, who was working in the division for over a decade, became close to such an extent that he took over all the responsibilities of the department - from preparation of question papers to selection of centres , printing question papers and supply of OMR sheets.

Mr. Shantha Kumar took charge of the strongroom in CID annexe building where the OMR sheets were kept under tight security . Since he was in charge , Mr. Shantha Kumar, along with his associates, went to the strongroom and tampered with the OMR sheets, the sources alleged.

CM’s reaction

Reacting to the developments, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, said: “We are committed to cleanse the entire system through an unbiased and uncompromising probe. The CID has been given a free hand to investigate the PSI recruitment scam. They have taken action based on the evidence. Our government will act against the guilty even if it happens to be top officials. The earlier governments had not bothered to investigate even when voices were raised against such scams during their regime.”


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 11:20:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/psi-recruitment-scam-adgp-amrit-paul-arrested-to-be-in-cid-custody-till-july-13/article65600118.ece