Tainted officer in for promotion

The DPAR nod for the prosecution of A K Monnappa had come after the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), in its report submitted to the State Government in 2008, found the officer guilty of colluding with 10 candidates of the 1998 Gazetted Probationers Group A and B (main) examination.

Monnappa, a promotee IAS officer, was then the Secretary, KPSC. At present he is the  Commissioner for Cane Development and Director of Sugar. Official sources in the DPAR said the government has since decided to absolve the officer of all charges and promote him to the super-time scale (in the IAS ranking) based on the findings of a departmental inquiry headed by the then Additional Chief Secretary Abhijit Dasgupta. Monnappa has been given the benefit of the doubt in Dasgupta’s inquiry report, which was submitted to the government a month ago, sources said.

If the DPAR has its way, Monnappa will be elevated to the secretary rank in the IAS cadre, making him eligible to head a government department.

The government had given permission to the CID to prosecute him under the CrPC in February 2008 while the Union Government gave the required nod in this regard under the Prevention of Corruption Act in April 2010. Permission of the State as well as the Central government is mandatory to initiate criminal prosecution proceedings against IAS officers.

A KPSC sub-committee, set up in 2001 soon after the declaration of the results to probe the scam, too, had found Monnappa guilty of helping selected candidates in securing good marks.

The sub-committee had found criminal conspiracy by Monnappa, the then Chief Examiner KPSC, Shivanna, and others in tampering with the examination process. It had recommended disciplinary action against all the officials concerned.

The charges against Monnappa were: Leaking code numbers of the answer books of 10 select candidates, colluding with the chief examiner to give abnormally high marks and failing in his duties as the secretary to ensure proper evaluation of answer books.

The KPSC immediately took action against the candidates by annulling the results and debarring them from future examinations. In 2003, the government ordered a departmental probe headed by the then Additional Chief Secretary K K Misra against Monnappa.

Misra, however, recommended to the government to hand over the investigation to the Karnataka Lokayukta considering the seriousness of the charges against the officer. The government, therefore, not only ordered a CID investigation but also set up an enquiry authority headed by Dasgupta to conduct an internal probe in 2006.

Based on the CID report, the government ordered the prosecution proceedings against Monnappa.  The proceedings are presently going on against the officer in the court. When contacted, DPAR Secretary K R Srinivas refused to comment.

A leg up

*  DPAR has proposed to promote tainted IAS officer A K Monnappa to super time scale
*  Monnappa was accused of being involved in the KPSC recruitment scam.
*  DPAR had ordered a criminal prosecution against the officer based on a CID probe

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