Arunachal: Activist threatens to launch movement over lack of clarity in context to 13 demands in APPSC fiasco

Arunachal: Activist threatens to launch movement over lack of clarity in context to 13 demands in APPSC fiasco

Social activist Sol Dodum along with Pan Arunachal Joint Steering committee proceeded to the Civil Secretariat of Itanagar to gather the final update of their 13 points demand.

Activists threaten to launch movement over non-fulfilment of 13 demands in APPSC paper leak scam Activists threaten to launch movement over non-fulfilment of 13 demands in APPSC paper leak scam

Social activist Sol Dodum who spearheaded the APPSC scam fiasco along with Pan Arunachal Joint Steering committee along with parents and women activists on March 18 proceeded to the Civil Secretariat of Itanagar to gather the final update of their 13 points demand placed before the Government on February 18 last.

Sol Dodum talking to the media cited that they reached the CM office despite knowing its Saturday(non-working day) today 18 March being exactly one month given to them to get the reports relevant to their 13 points to demand placed on 18 Feb 2023 during the Bandh call against this APPSC paper leakage scam fiasco.

"Till 22nd march we will try to submit the papers demanding final reports of the fulfilment of our demands. we appeal all like-minded citizens to be ready by 24 Mar for our next movement conceding that Government shows a lackadaisical attitude in fulfilling our all 13 points demands. We are fighting for truth & against the corruption & for the future of the youths of Arunachal," Dodum added.

Also Read: Arunachal: 6 cadet sub-inspectors arrested from Police Academy in Shillong over APPSC scam

"As per my observation Government is trying to divide citizens on our main demand “Null & Void” as we got assurance but now Government is taking U turn. Few ruling MLAs & Ministers now giving contradictory statements over Null & Void of compromised exams. We will adamantly stick to our demands & regarding Null & Void also we deny the rumours certaining that posted officers will be unable to compete with young aspirants after several years of their service which we also believe is impossible rather they will compete with same aspirants who appeared during the same exam in same year & this is part of our demand.From our own expense & resources we are fighting this revolution.I am just urging people to be ready after 24 if we get betrayed by Government & I will not disclose the further course until March 24.” Sol Dodum added.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pema Khandu in his recent address in Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly stated the APPSC fiasco a very unfortunate incident which was beyond imagination. “We never imagined that a premier agency which recruits officers will act as inhuman body & such a malpractice of highest level saddened us deeply.Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission is an autonomous body & State Government doesnot have any control over it directly as it has full autonomy status.How APPSC works or conduct exams cannot be examined by depth by our government due to its autonomy status.Whatever happened is very disappointing as they played with the lives of our younger generation youths.The moment my Government came to know about this scam in September 2022 several actions has been taken & initially SIC Special Investigation team was formed to do investigation which was later handed over to premier agency CBI Central bureau of investigation.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that a process has been started to remove 42 government officials involved in “malpractices” in various exams conducted by the state public service commission.

Khandu stated “since 2017, there were eleven exams conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC), in which a total of 54 people, including 42 government officials, have been arrested on allegations of malpractices. 
The agency filed a chargesheet on 9 December last year against eight people, and another on 30 January this year against one person.

Khandu said that the government, after a meeting with the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC) in February, had written to the Gauhati High Court to designate the Yupia district & sessions court as a special fast-track court to take up the APPSC paper leak cases.

“The high court has positively responded and agreed to designate district and sessions court, Yupia as a special fast-track court to take up the APPSC paper leak cases,” he said.

On the demand for conducting exams by the UPSC, the chief minister said that the government has already taken up the issue with it and is waiting for its response.

“It will depend on whether the UPSC will agree or not to conduct exams. If they do not agree, we will have to constitute a new commission to arrange for tests,” he said, adding that the appointments of the chairperson and members of the APPSC have been cancelled recently.

Referring to the demand of the PAJSC to declare all exams conducted by APPSC “null & void” and subsequent protests by the parents of genuine candidates opposing it, Khandu clarified that the government has “no rule to declare the exams null and void as the APPSC is an autonomous body.”

“The government will ask the new commission to decide and, if required, it could seek the government’s suggestions,” he added.

The paper leak incident came to light after a candidate filed a complaint at the Itanagar police station on 29 August last year, claiming that he suspected that the assistant engineers (civil) examination paper had been leaked.

More than 400 candidates appeared for the test held on 26 and 27 August last year

Earlier on 18 feb 2023 a copy of fulfilment of 13 points of demands placed by Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC) & the government order stated below.. 

1. Chairman, Secretary, Members and all other official of APPSC from 2014 to 2022 must be immediately brought under the purview of the investigation. If any discrepancies are reported, arrest must be done immediately.

State Government gave blanket approval to investigate all the past exams conducted from 2014 to 2022 to SIC. Based on the popular demands of the aspirants this case including the AE(Civil) paper leakage case were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Out of the 2 cases handed over to CBI, the case relating to FIR No. 12/2022 pertains to all exams conducted from 2014 to 2022. As such, Chairman, Secretary, Members officials of APPSC and any other official/private person are already under the purview of investigation. Based on the findings of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken by the Investigating agencies. The investigation in this matter is now with Central Investigating Agency i.e. CBI as per the demand made by the aspirants/aspirant associations and student Unions. The State Government has no jurisdiction in the matter now.

2. Immediate constitution of Fast Track Court for prosecution of the accused involved in the APPSC Paper Leakage scam.

The State Government had written to the Hon'ble Gauhati High Court to designate District and Sessions Court Yupia (or any other District and Sessions Court) as a Special Fast-Track Court to take up the APPSC paper leakage cases. The Hon'ble Gauhati High Court has agreed to designate District and Sessions Court Yupia as a Special Fast-Track Court to take up the APPSC paper leakage cases.

3. Immediate establishment of State Administrative Tribunal

The State has agreed to recommend setting up of a Standing Grievance Redressal Committee and institutional mechanism to deal with the grievances of the candidates/aspirants.

4. Immediate endorsement of ED (Enforcement Directorate) and Court monitored probe and also immediate seizure of assets/properties (movable and immovable) of all the accused and the incumbents of APPSC along with their kiths and during the course of investigation, 41 Government Employees were arrested. The status of the arrested Government employees and action taken against them are as under:-kind.

Demand for a High Level Enquiry Committee headed by a Retd SC or HC Judge for examinations wherever paper leakage took place from 2014-2022 will be accordingly requested by the State Govt to Govt of India within this month.

On the request of the aspirants, State Govt will formally write to ED to investigate all incumbents in the APPSC from 2014-2022 within this month. 

5. Immediate disclosure of 
All these 20 arrested regular employees have been suspended and Departmental Enquiry has been started and it is at different stages.the

a) Regular Government employees - 20

As per the service rules, Departmental Enquiry has to be conducted against the regular Government employees for charges framed against them. Accordingly Memorandum / Articles of charges, Appointment of Inquiry Officer and Presenting Officer, holding 

a) Employees under Probation - 20

i) The mandatory one month's prior notice of termination, as required under CCS (Temporary Service) Rules, which have already been issued in 19 out of above 20 cases. The appropriate orders including termination from service in respect of these 19 employees will be issued on expiry of one month period.

ii) Out of the above 20 employees, one employee is from Horticulture Department in whose appointment order the provision for termination of service by serving one month's prior notice was not provisioned. In this case also appropriate termination order is being issued after consultation with the Law Department.

b) Contractual employee - 1

The services of the Contractual employee have already been discontinued.

Further, on the request of the aspirants, actions for the termination of Taket Jerang will be initiated immediately.

6. Immediate disclosure of 3 Members committee Report

The entire report was placed in the public domain and copies handed over to the aspirants also.

7. Suspension of all the upcoming exams till the completion of investigation process and endorse UPSC to conduct the upcoming examination till the completion of investigation process.

All the examinations which were scheduled to be conducted by the APPSC were cancelled/postponed immediately after the Paper Leakage issue came to light.

As per Article 315 (4) The Public Service Commission for the Union, if requested so to do by the Governor of a State, may, with the approval of the President, agree to serve all or any of the needs of the State.

On the request of the aspirants, State Govt will take up with UPSC to conduct the pending exams within one month.

8. All the higher officials above the rank of Deputy Secretary must be investigated from 2014 to 2022

This demand is already covered under the actions taken by the State Government as stated as at 1 above.

9. Any examination found to be involved with malpractices like paper leakage scams must be immediately declared null and void.

The State Government has seen the request for declaring the exams null and void where issues and malpractices like paper leakage etc have come to notice. Accordingly it is being sent to APPSC which is the competent authority to decide this.

10. Inclusion of 2 members from the aspirants in the preparation of the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of APPSC.
The conduct of examination and procedure for the same including ensuring confidentiality is the mandate of the Commission for which it prepares the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The inputs of the aspirants will be sent to the Commission for consideration.

11. Immediate legislation and implementation of the Whistle Blower Act with special provisions for the protection and rewards of the Whistle-Blowers.

A law has been enacted by the Parliament and by virtue of its extension clause provided under sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Act, the Act extends to whole of India. Cabinet vide its decision dated 21.12.2022 asked Vigilance Department to frame rules under Section 26 of the Whistle Blower Act. Gyamar Padang will be recognised appropriately for his contribution.

12. Justice for Miss Mudang Yabyang (PWD deprived candidate) and streamlining of selection criteria for (Persons with Disabilities) candidates. 
The State Government is favorably disposed towards the issue of Miss Mudang Yabyang and had already conveyed to APPSC to re-examine and reconsider the matter. The State Govt. will reiterate this position to APPSC. 

13. Immediate recalling of the 3 officials posted under APPSC.

With the merger of the APPSC cadre with the Secretariat cadre and consequent transfers the action has been completed. The Govt agreed to recall. The personnel department will ensure fixed tenure of two years of Officers posted in the APPSC, subject to administrative exigencies.of inquiry, submission of Inquiry reports have to be followed in stages. The award of punishment is determined on the findings of the inquiry.

Edited By: Atiqul Habib
Published On: Mar 18, 2023