The Arunachal Pradesh government has suspended S K Jain who was earlier posted as secretary and controller of examinations of the Arunachal Pradesh State Selection Board (APSSB) for alleged gross administrative negligence.
Besides handling the post of APSSB secretary and controller of examinations, Jain, who is a 2007-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, was also the secretary of the state’s land management, urban development and town planning departments.
Jain’s suspension comes a day after the APSSB announced the cancellation of its LDC/JSA, among others, examinations over the recent ‘cash for jobs’ fiasco.
A suspension order issued by chief secretary Naresh Kumar in on Tuesday evening said that a disciplinary proceeding is contemplated against Jain and in exercise of powers conferred to the governor by clause (a) of sub-rule (i) of rule 3 of the All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 he stands suspended from his post with immediate effect.
The order further stated that Jain, during the suspension period shall be stationed in his headquarters i.e Itanagar and shall not leave the headquarters without obtaining the permission of the chief secretary.
Sources said chief minister Pema Khandu, who has been furious since the scam came to fore, has also constituted a high-level enquiry committee comprising of Arunachal Bhavan, New Delhi principal resident commissioner Jitendra Narain and state PWD and home commissioner Kaling Tayeng to thoroughly enquire and find out lapses which resulted in the APSSB fiasco.
The committee has been given the task to examine and find out whether procedures and safeguards were put in place to ensure transparent functioning of the APSSB in consonance with the Act and Rules and for conduct of free and fair examination by the board.
The committee shall also examine and find out whether proper supervision and due diligence was followed to ensure that the APSSB conducted the examination in a fair manner and the steps taken by the board to preserve evidence and present facts accurately, especially after the malpractices were alleged on social media after declaration of results.
Besides this, the committee shall also examine and fix the responsibilities for administrative lapses by all the officers involved in the examination process and recommend suitable disciplinary action against the erring officers and officials.
The committee has been asked to submit its report to the chief secretary as soon as possible but not later than 21 days from Tuesday.
The APSSB has of recent been drawing flak from all quarters for its alleged failure to conduct the examination in a fair manner.
Following allegations of malpractice, a case under several sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act was lodged on February 16 with the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) of the state police.
Accordingly, the SIC, has so far arrested 5 persons including APSSB under secretary Kapter Ringu and two data entry operators of the board in connection the case.
The APSSB on Monday discussed in detail the matter pertaining to the examination and after careful consideration of all the facts it decided to cancel the examination.
The board in its statement said that a new date for the examination would be notified soon and all the candidates who had received admit cards for the examination held on February 2, 2020 would be eligible to re-appear for the examination without paying any additional fees.