State govt withholds list of selected KAS officers

CM orders probe into graft charges against KPSC

Following allegations of corruption, the State government on Thursday decided to keep in abeyance the list of 368 candidates selected for Group ‘A’ and B posts by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC).

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced the government’s decision in Legislative Council while replying to M C Nanaiah and Basavaraj Horatti  (both JD-S) who raised the issue of largescale corruption in the selection of candidates by the KPSC.

Siddaramaiah said the government will not accept the list of candidates selected for the Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) by the KPSC. It has also been decided to conduct an inquiry by an ‘appropriate agency’ into the corruption charges against the KPSC members. The probe report will be submitted to the government in two to three weeks, he said.

“The government will not accept the list of candidates, interviewed and prepared by the KPSC, till the allegations of corruption are investigated and cleared,” he said.
The Council discussed the charges of corruption in the selection process following media reports that a certain ‘woman member’ of the KPSC had demanded a bribe of Rs 70 lakh from a candidate, a Scheduled Tribes (ST) topper in the KPSC examinations of December 2012.

‘Officials involved’

Quoting media reports, Nanaiah said the charges of corruption against the KPSC member was a serious issue. “There are also allegations that three government officials have acted as mediators in this case,” he said. As Nanaiah was asked not to name the accused officials, he quoted their designations.

Of the three officials, one is an executive engineer in the Bangalore Development Authority, another an assistant executive engineer in the BWSSB and the third, a first division clerk in the Legislative Assembly secretariat, he said.
Earlier, Horatti argued that one of the prime reasons for corruption in the KPSC was casteism.

“The caste factor plays a major role in these interviews. We are hearing reports that candidates from a particular caste are being interviewed by the KPSC members belonging to the same caste. This has given rise to largescale corruption,” he observed.

The Leader of the Opposition D V Sadananda Gowda suggested that the government should work out a mechanism to keep the marks obtained in the KPSC written examinations confidential till the interviews are completed. Siddaramaiah said that the government will look into this option, by not revealing the marks of candidates either to them or the interview panel. ‘We will look at the procedures adopted by the UPSC and other state service commissions for ensuring transparency in the selection process,” he said.

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