Crucial PSC meeting today

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, AUG. 1. The Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) is holding a crucial meeting here on Monday to discuss, among other things, the Crime Branch investigation into the alleged leakage of the question paper for lower division (LD) clerk selection test.

The PSC has taken strong exception to the Crime Branch investigation conducted without its knowledge and the letter written to the PSC chairman by the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Crimes, informing him that the Crime Branch had found evidence to show question paper leakage. The Vigilance wing of the PSC had earlier found no basis for the allegation.

Meet to discuss letter

Monday's meeting would discuss the ADGP's letter and may decide to write to the Government asking it to clarify its stand on the contents of the letter as also how the ADGP came to write directly to the commission instead of routing the communication through the Government as is the normal practice. The commission is also upset about the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony's statement in the Assembly regarding the Crime Branch finding. In the commission's view, the submission on the subject and the Chief Minister's reply were part of a bid to politicise the issue.

Monday's meeting would also discuss the refusal of the police authorities in Kottayam to provide security for the question papers despatched to the district for the test conducted on Saturday to select women police constables.

Earlier, the PSC used to despatch the question papers to the examination centres a day ahead of the examination. Now the practice is to take the question papers to the examination centres only a few hours before the commencement of the examination.

The local Dy.SP is alleged to have refused to depute police personnel to the PSC office to guard the question papers and the PSC chairman himself had to intervene to get a constable posted at the PSC office for the purpose.

Advice memo

Meanwhile, the PSC has issued advice memo to 30 more candidates from the LD Clerk ranklist for Kottayam. It had earlier issued advice memo to around 170 candidates.

The decision shows that the PSC is in no mood to cancel the ranklist despite the Crime Branch finding.

According to highly placed sources in the PSC, cancellation of ranklists was not an option before it because that would hurt the interests of the candidates who had got selected on merit.

In the opinion of the commission, the appropriate thing to do even in the event of irregularities being detected is to disqualify the persons who benefit from such irregularities.

The Supreme Court had also ruled against the cancellation of ranklists, the sources pointed out.

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