Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 7:
As is the case most often these days in matters related to corruption, it was an RTI query that nailed the officials, including the then collector Debraj Mishra, in the huge scam in the recruitment of revenue inspectors (RIs) and amins in Bolangir district of Odisha.
The startling revelations about the gross irregularities obtained through RTI led first to a vigilance inquiry and then a crime branch probe, culminating in the arrest of Mishra today.
The Crime Branch, during its investigation, had found the involvement of the collector and four government employees, including Niranjan Tripathy, a senior clerk, in the illegal appointment and had registered cases against all five of them.
“The collector of Bolangir was the sole custodian of the recruitment process as well as the almirah where the question-cum-answer sheets were kept. It is now quite clear that Mishra, instead of keeping these question-cum-answer sheets in the government treasury, had kept them in the almirah at his office room with the key in his possession,” the vigilance inquiry had said in its report.
The anti-corruption wing had also said in the report that Niranjan Tripathy had intervened in the matter and told the evaluators that there were no specific guidelines regarding computer practical test which was later conducted as per his suggestion.
The report had also stated that the candidates were awarded marks as per the order of the collector.
The report had revealed that the candidates who had secured 2 marks in computer practical test were given 93 marks while the candidates who had secured 98 marks were awarded zero marks as per the advice of Mishra during the revision of answer sheets, which was conducted by the employees not engaged in the examination earlier.
Besides, the Vigilance officials had also found that the candidates securing zero marks and others, who had not attended the physical test, had been given appointment.