JAMMU, Aug 29: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Jammu Province Peoples’ Forum seeking probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into all the selections made by Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission since its reconstitution in July 2015, Division Bench of High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sindhu Sharma today issued notices to the respondents.
In the PIL filed through Senior Advocate K S Johal, prayer has been made for issuance of directions to IGP Crime Branch for producing report of the preliminary enquiry conducted into forgery of policy documents of the Commission, registration of FIR for detailed investigation into the allegations vis-à-vis eroding the credibility of the Commission, impartial enquiry into all the recommendations made by the Commission after July 27, 2015 when it was reconstituted, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into all the selections made by the Commission from July 28, 2015 till date so that candidates from Jammu province wrongly rejected because of the malafide reasons be given the benefits and justice be meted out to them.
“Initially the Full Commission had decided to allow two retired officials-Mushtaq Ghulam Jeelani and Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat to work as Consultants only for a period of six months and this was recorded in the minutes of meeting but later they were allowed to continue by the Chairman on the basis of forged document and the matter was never brought before the Full Commission again”, the PIL said, adding “these Consultants without having any accountability were handling all important and sensitive matters and branches of the Commission right from secrecy section, written examination and interview etc”.
“So much so Hakeem Ghulam Jeelani was often involved in the process of conducting of interviews of the candidates inasmuch as he knew beforehand regarding the experts for interview, would interact with them, brief them and even handled their protocol”, the PIL said, adding “he enjoyed unfettered and unbridled power and was in a vantage position by virtue of confidence reposed in him by the Chairman of the Commission and the then Secretary to influence and manipulate the selection of candidates”.
The position of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat was not different and he was also handling the process of examination in case of promotions for in-service candidates of different departments of the Government.
“The continued engagement of two Consultants even after the expiry of the initial six months was repeatedly objected to by the Members of the Commission especially when they found clear mismatch between marks in written examination and viva-voce of some candidates in various selections”, the PIL said, adding “it was also noticed that un-deserving candidates with poor academic records had found their way to the top in written examination while their performance in the interview was absolutely dismal and below average”.
Mentioning that the credentials of these Consultants were also doubted by former Members of the Commission and Member Establishment PSC had made a representation to the Governor regarding the functioning of the PSC, the PIL said, “J A Makhdoomi, the then Member of PSC was to demit the office on January 2, 2013 but before that vide Communication No.PS/PSC/ Confi-12/801 dated December 28, 2012 he made a representation to the Governor mentioning that all is not well in PSC and the Commission is at crossroads as efforts are afoot to reduce it to a fiefdom thanks to the Chairman’s persistent policies that border divisiveness and authoritarianism”.
J A Makhdoomi had also mentioned in the communication that Chairman had assiduously kept three Consultants who were suspected to be behind the selective leak of results, the PIL said.
“Though the Forensic Science Laboratory has twice established forgery of policy documents-vis-à-vis engagement and continuance of Consultants yet the Crime Branch even after preliminary enquiry has not registered FIR for unknown reasons”, the PIL said.
The Division Bench was also informed that petitioner forum could lay hands on the recommendations of the PSC to the different posts where selection is based on the basis of written examination and viva-voce held in 2017 to demonstrative the extent of permeation of regional basis in the selections, which of course is the handiwork of nexus in the Commission.
“Not only in selections against different posts in Government departments even discrimination has been made in select list of KAS”, the PIL said. Justifying the demand for CBI enquiry into the selections made by the Commission, the PIL said, “while the Crime Branch being an organization of the State is Kashmir centric and considering its reluctance to register the FIR in spite of strong and credible evidence against the culprits, the petitioners lack confidence in the Crime Branch for conducting an impartial investigation”.
“Since the nexus has eroded the confidence of the public in the working of the Constitutional body, thorough probe by CBI is imperative”, the PIL said.